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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Campus contributes to 100th running of the Indianapolis 500

May 24, 2016

Faculty member Christopher Finch, left, and Dean Russomanno share a moment in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. | ALL PHOTOS BY LIZ KAYE / IU COMMUNICATIONS

Faculty member Christopher Finch, left, and Dean Russomanno share a moment in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. | ALL PHOTOS BY LIZ KAYE / IU COMMUNICATIONS

School officials explored the interns at the IMS.

On a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, IUPUI and university officials explored the many ways the campus is involved with this month's Indianapolis 500. Visitors included, from left: Engineering and Technology Dean David Russomanno; IU Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Thomas Morrison; and motorsports interns Alan Orr, Kyle Stewart and Will Conover.

IUPUI students, faculty and staff are going to be in the thick of this year's Indianapolis 500 festivities as the Speedway celebrates the 100th running of the race May 29.

Most of the roles played by campus contributors in the month's activities will be behind the scenes in team garages, on Indianapolis Motor Speedway inspections or in the social swirl of race-day action.

Three students from the School of Engineering and Technology will provide technical inspections for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to ensure that teams conform to racing rules and regulation, including safety measures. The Motorsports Engineering program students are Will Conover, Kyle Stewart and Alan Orr. Stewart is actually on a dual-degree track in the school, including mechanical engineering in his academic career.

Action on pit row.

One of the motorsports alumni involved in this month's action along pit row is C.J. Nielsen.

In addition to the technical-inspection trio, 10 other IUPUI students are working at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month, five as interns and five as team employees:

  • Eric Harmon, Eric Cantore, Ryan Kelly and Nathan Toney are interns with Andretti Autosport
  • James Schnabel is an intern with Team Penske
  • Mike Armbrester and Ross Bunnell are employees of Dale Coyne Racing
  • Kenny Krajnik is an employee of Schmidt Peterson racing
  • Dwight Brown is an employee of KVSH Racing
  • C.J. Nielsen is an employee of A.J. Foyt Enterprises

All of the students are part of the motorsports program except Armbrester, who is a mechanical engineering student.

Two other IUPUI students were part of the Angie's List Grand Prix, which took place May 14. Chris Weyer was part of the Sam Schmidt team competing in the Indy Lights race, while Kevin Eichler was part of the Juncos team.

Engineering and Technology faculty and staff are part of the month as well. Christopher Finch, a lecturer in motorsports engineering, is an engineer for driver Oriol Servia on the Schmidt Peterson racing team. Jess Chen, a tech in the motorsports lab, was part of the Buddy Lazier team during the month.

At least four School of Engineering and Technology alumni are involved with the racing action this month, including Amanda Lund and Grant George with Andretti Autosport and Justin Penix and Chase Kaufman with Ed Carpenter Racing.

Seven IUPUI students are 500 Festival princesses this spring, part of the 33-member group. Princesses fill numerous social roles throughout the month, including making visits to hospitals, schools and youth programs. They are part of Indianapolis Motor Speedway events, including pre-race ceremonies and the post-race celebration in Victory Circle.

This year's Festival princesses from IUPUI are:

  • Shelby Bradford of Warren, a senior majoring in nursing
  • Nina DeWitt of Stilesville, a junior majoring in biology and Spanish
  • Kayla Keith of Carmel, a senior majoring in tourism, convention and event management
  • Amber Kriech of Carmel, a junior majoring in organizational leadership and supervision
  • Macy Nikirk of Bedford, a sophomore majoring in marketing and supply chain management
  • Kylee Stewart of Greenfield, a junior majoring in journalism
  • Kayla Wilson of Fishers, a freshman majoring in civic leadership

IUPUI's 2016 Festival princesses

The seven students who were selected as 500 Festival princesses this year: top row from left, Shelby Bradford, Nina DeWitt, Kayla Keith and Amber Kriech; bottom row from left, Macy Nikirk, Kylee Stewart and Kayla Wilson. | INDIANAPOLIS 500 FESTIVAL PRINCESS PHOTOS