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IUPUI expands Motorsports Day to include automotive road show

Motorsports Day 2010
Motorsports Day 2010

Published:

October 2, 2012

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The Motorsports Engineering Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is expanding its annual racing industry show-and-tell to include a street-level automotive road show.

The 2012 IUPUI Motorsports/Automotive Day, spotlighting both the racing industry and the automotive manufacturing industry, takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Joseph T. Taylor Hall Courtyard at 815 W. Michigan St. on the IUPUI campus.

Indiana’s motor vehicle industry is the second largest in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Conexus Indiana, an initiative to capitalize on emerging opportunities to make Indiana a leader in advanced manufacturing and logistics, is bringing the automotive industry and academia together as the sponsor of the Automotive Road Show at Thursday’s event.

Representatives of GM, Honda, Subaru, Allison Transmission and Delphi will be on hand to discuss their careers, as well as to exhibit and discuss the newest innovations and technologies available with their vehicles. The automobile manufacturers will display models of their cars, while Allison will have a bus on display and Delphi will display electronic equipment.

The Road to Indy portion of the event will feature cars and personnel from the four Indy Car racing series, DW12, Indy Lights, Star Mazda and USF2000. An NHRA top-fuel dragster and an American Le Mans Series Porsche will also be available for viewing.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to examine how their education in our Motorsports Engineering Programs, and the other associated programs around the IUPUI campus, can lead to diverse careers in various aspects of industry, all related to motor vehicles, whether used in competition or on the street,” said Pete Hylton, associate professor and director of the motorsports engineering program, which is part of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

“The addition of the automakers to what has traditionally been our annual Motorsports Day demonstrates the close proximity of the two industries, and how opportunities for graduates can cross perceived boundaries.”

About 80 students are enrolled in motorsports engineering at IUPUI. Students have traditionally looked forward to the hands-on activities available during Motorsports Day.

“Motorsports students are passionate about their chosen majors. This event offers students an opportunity to get up close to the vehicles they hope to work on in the future," said Terri Talbert-Hatch, assistant dean for student services and coordinator of the Motorsports/Automotive Day. “We also use the day as a student recruitment event.”

In 2008, the IUPUI Motorsports Engineering Program became the first in the nation to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science in motorsports engineering. The 127-credit-hour degree program, which aims to prepare graduates for careers in the motorsports industry and automotive-related companies, focuses on teaching fundamentals of engineering and includes hands-on projects that involve designing, analyzing and building of actual systems. In 2010, Edmunds.com ranked the IUPUI motorsports program No. 2 on its list of Top 10 Automotive Engineering Programs in the U.S.

During Motorsports/Automotive Day, IUPUI motorsports students will also display their mini-sprint and go-kart vehicles, along with the department’s other vehicles, including the NASCAR show car. Other scheduled activities include an 11 a.m. special presentation by Swift Engineering chief design engineer Chris Norris and the Miles Ahead safe driving school, staffed by seven-time Indy 500 driver Stephan Gregoire.

The event is free and open to all students, as well as the general public.