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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI Collaborates with Grace Autosport to Promote Women in STEM Education and Careers

November 9, 2015

Beth Paretta (left), Team Principal and Katherine Legge (right), a two-time Indy 500 competitor

Beth Paretta (left), Team Principal and Katherine Legge (right), a two-time Indy 500 competitor

INDIANAPOLIS –The School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is forming an unique partnership with Grace Autosport to promote women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers, particularly motorsports engineering.   

Grace Autosport is spearheading a one-of-a-kind racing program with a focused educational initiative that looks to create and inspire future champions and leaders in the motorsports industry. By forming an all-female IndyCar racing team, Grace Autosport will empower women in motorsports while encouraging a new generation of women to pursue careers in STEM. Grace Autosport’s goal is to have the first all-female race team compete at the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, 2016.

“Grace Autosport is pleased to be collaborating with IUPUI on a partnership to encourage more women to pursue STEM education and careers,” said Beth Paretta, Team Principal with Grace Autosport. "With our motorsports team planning to be the first all-female racing team at the Indy 500 and beyond, we believe we can inspire young women by showcasing real women working in STEM fields. We hope to encourage girls and young women to aspire to work hard and follow their dreams, even if it might seem somewhat non-traditional today."

The School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI grants the only bachelor’s degree in motorsports engineering in the United States, and has a strong track record of producing women motorsports engineering graduates. The School, only minutes away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has an initiative focused on recruiting and retaining more women in engineering and technology fields, including motorsports engineering.

A natural fit, the School and Grace Autosport will collaborate to promote and facilitate internship opportunities for female students with Grace Autosport as well as engage IUPUI faculty and staff support for STEM outreach efforts, particularly motorsports engineering as a STEM field in which women excel. Grace Autosport will provide guest lecturers and appearances at events and activities that promote STEM careers for women.

“Recognizing the important contributions women make in STEM fields, we have actively promoted and recruited women for the School’s various programs over the years,” said David J. Russomanno, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology. “In this next important step, we look forward to working collaboratively with Grace Autosport in advocating STEM education and careers for women.”

About Grace Autosport:
Grace Autosport, the first all-female IndyCar Series racing team, plans to compete in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2016. Each of the core team roles will be lead by women. From team principal to race engineers, from aerodynamicists to marketing, from driver to public relations, the women of Grace Autosport will be on the grid for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and the largest single day sporting event in the world.

Grace Autosport spearheads a one-of-a-kind racing program with a focused educational initiative, which seeks to create and inspire future champions and leaders in motorsport. The goal of this pioneering female-centric racing team is to not only empower women in motorsport, but to encourage a new generation of women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Grace Autosport -- a team driven by women.

About Motorsports at IUPUI:
Located in the heart of Indianapolis, the “Racing Capital of the World,” IUPUI has much to offer in motorsports, and its programs are producing impressive results and garnering national attention. In 2008, IUPUI became the first university in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in motorsports engineering, and the university continues to develop programs encompassing all aspects of the sport. From a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in motorsports engineering to a motorsports technology certificate and a master’s concentration offered by the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, to a variety of racetrack opportunities and outstanding internship placements, the motorsports programs at IUPUI continue to thrive. For more information about motorsports at IUPUI, visit http://www.engr.iupui.edu/motorsports.

About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI:
The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society. For additional information on the School of Engineering and Technology, go to http://www.engr.iupui.edu.