Mechanical engineering students and faculty members accompanied
President Matt Branam and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus, vice chair of Rose- Hulman's
Board of Trustees, on a trip to Varano, Italy this fall to visit
some of the best innovation in Italian industry.
The educational trip came at the invitation of Gian Paolo
Dallara, founder of Dallara Automobili, who is known to all
Italians and motorsports aficionados by his nickname, "The
Engineer." Dallara Automobili is the most successful international
motorsports vehicle design company. The company provided the
six-day, all-expense-paid trip, and Gian Paolo Dallara shared his
philosophy for innovation and success while accompanying the group
during a tour of Dallara Automobili's facility.
Rose-Hulman leaders hope to establish an internship program for
students to learn motorsports design at Dallara Automobili's
production facilities in Italy and Indianapolis.
"We are very proud of our association with The Engineer (Gian
Paolo Dallara) and the fine people of Dallara Automobili, and we
have high expectations for increased collaboration with his
company," says Branam. "The most important message that we have
brought back is that we learn by doing, but with whom we do it may
determine our success in the future."
The student members of Rose-Hulman's Grand Prix Engineering
(RoseGPE) Formula SAE motorsports team also toured the
state-of-the-art facilities of Barilla Pasta and Ferrari. The trip
included motorsports team faculty advisers Zac Chambers, associate
professor of mechanical engineering and director of the college's
Advanced Transportation Systems program, and Patrick Cunningham,
assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
The students also had the opportunity to meet with international
counterparts at a Formula SAE competition in Varano. "Even though
we're from all these different backgrounds, we have so much in
common," team member Daniel Watson says of his interaction with
students from Israel, India, Germany, and elsewhere.
Members of Rose-Hulman's student group were impressed by the
cooperative spirit among the teams. Although they were competitors,
the racers also reached out to one another to offer assistance,
spare parts, or equipment that was needed.
"Our delegation was thrilled to see the energy and enthusiasm of
young people in Italy for the pursuit of the limits of today's
technology," says Branam.
Dallara's pursuit of excellence, and their philosophy of
learning from failures as a tool to generate greater success,
creates an environment of innovation, team spirit, and employee
pride in their work.
"Our students were inspired to see the mathematical modeling and
simulation of vehicle dynamics at Dallara Automobili, and to meet
the young people involved in this work every day," Branam says. "I
know our students brought these inspirations back to their studies