Purdue University is partnering with the National Hot Rod Association to expand STEM programs and advance motorsports technology. The three-year agreement will make Purdue the official engineering and technology partner of the NHRA.
Purdue says the agreement will allow the university to expand its Motorsports STEM for Manufacturing and Medicine program. Jim Caruthers, professor of chemical engineering at Purdue, says the initial focus will be to extend the program into middle schools.
"Purdue has found that motorsports is an absolutely incredible way to truly enliven the STEM discipline," said Jim Caruthers, professor of chemical engineering. "Often times, STEM is taught in an abstract way, but we have learned how to deconstruct technology inside a motorsports vehicle to the basic science and math."
Purdue students and faculty will also be able to help the NHRA improve its technology with research and innovation in areas such as fuels, aerodynamic packages and engine components. The university says the program will also focus on the NHRA’s Jr. Drag Racing League and explore and explore the possibility of an electric version of the series.
The agreement is the latest for Purdue which also has partnerships with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Verizon IndyCar Series and Dallara.