"(Motorsports engineering) involves many of the traditional engineering disciplines, but has a more specific application," said Colin Brichter, chairman of Old Dominion University's department of aerospace engineering. Brichter
said motorsports engineering combines the technical aspects of aerodynamics, chassis dynamics, engine performance, sensors and controls with team management and overall systems engineering. ODU
currently runs an associate's degree program in this field at Patrick Henry Community College
and announced plans Thursday to set up a bachelor's degree program in motorsports engineering this fall at the New College Institute
. "We'll build a master's degree program here at VIPER
on top of that," Brichter
said, adding VIPER
's equipment, such as its 8-post rig and driving simulator, would fit perfectly into his
research plans. Brichter
said motorsports engineering is rich with job possibilities because there are about 1,000 significant racing teams throughout the United States alone.He
said a well-sponsored NASCAR team could easily employ between 50 and 100 people.
While building and designing cars for NASCAR driver Tony Raines may seem like a dream job from some, Brichter
said the career possibilities for motorsports engineers don't stop there.