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The Professional Racer's Approach to Engineering
Friday, November 5, 2010 - 12:00pm to Friday, November 5, 2010 - 2:00pm

SAE Industrial Lectureship Program Brings Neil Roberts to Portland State University

November 5 , 2010
12:00-2:00 PM
Engineering Building, Room 102

Mr. Roberts will be visiting Portland State University on behalf of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) Industrial Lectureship Program. The extreme challenges faced by professional racers require the development of engineering skills that are fundamentally different from the usual conservative practices. While these skills require a high degree of competence and highly proficient risk management, they can enable the achievement of difficult objectives on a budget and schedule that are unthinkable for conventional engineering and manufacturing programs. Although motorsports is the only field that regularly utilizes the professional racer's approach to engineering, its fundamental principles can be applied to any complex challenge with stunning results. Currently, we will have Formula teams from Portland State, Oregon State, University of Washington, Washington State, Western Washington, and University of Idaho!

Neil Roberts is a senior design engineer at Swift Engineering, an engineering and manufacturing company that has produced more than 500 highly successful race cars from Formula Fords through Champ Cars, a manned jet aircraft prototype, a family of unmanned aerial vehicles, and many other high performance vehicles and parts. This has resulted in Swift becoming an industry leader in the rapid design and manufacture of high performance composite structures, as well as developing extraordinary aerodynamic performance development expertise and testing assets. By diversifying into the aerospace sector, Swift is taking advantage of the high degree of similarity between high end race cars and aircraft. Neil earned a BS degree in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University. Neil's specialties are mechanical systems and structures design and optimization. Before joining Swift in 1996, Neil engineered for Jim Hall's Indycar team for 4 years, and has 15 years of highly successful road racing and autocross driving experience. Neil is the author of Think Fast The Racer's Why-To Guide to Winning. In addition to advising Texas A&M's FSAE and FH teams since 1999, Neil is a design judge every year at FSAE California.

This lecture is open to all students and faculty, but space is limited. If you would like to attend, please CLICK HERE to register online!