American racing teams are having a such hard time finding homegrown talent to fill their rosters, they're forced to hire Europeans to fill vacant slots.
To remedy this situation, Colorado State University and its Motorsport Engineering Program has been giving American engineering students the experience and background they need to for a career in racing. Engineers earn graduate degrees and perform research and service to advance both the motorsports and automotive industries.
"The racing industry is growing faster than any other spectator sport in America, and the motorsport engineer is a critical part of any modern race team," says Donald Radford professor of mechanical engineering. "Engineers educated specifically to take lead roles on professional race teams are a rare and welcomed commodity, and U.S. trained motorsport engineers are even more uncommon," he adds.
At the graduate level, students specialize in race-vehicle design or in the activities of a team engineer. At the doctorate level, students focus on advanced design and analysis. All students learn the foundations of vehicle dynamics, engine technology, aerodynamics, and advanced materials and instrumentation.
Currently in its fourth year, the program's re-search results include advances in chassis design, tire testing, vehicle dynamics, and nanofluids used to improve cooling capabilities.