Lift - Fall 2011 - (Page 5)
Bou n dless
Partnership expands research in high-performance vehicles
hris and Elaine Larsen of Larsen Motorsports have partnered with Embry-Riddle for the past eight years, promoting the university with their exhibition jet car racing team. This year, that partnership grows to include a cooperative agreement that puts Embry-Riddle students in the midst of the Larsens’ racing operation. Key to the joint endeavor is the creation of a state-of-the-art facility at Embry-Riddle’s Research and Technology Park near the Daytona Beach Campus. The 12,000-square-foot facility will become home to Larsen Motorsports High-Performance Vehicles Research and Development Center, and will be the Research Park’s first official tenant. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2012.
Designed to train Embry-Riddle students, while also offering a cost-effective option for the advanced research and
“Aerospace and motorsports go hand-in-hand. The technologies are almost exactly meshed. There are a ton of different disciplines at Embry-Riddle that fit in this huge business.”
development of high-performance vehicles, turbine engines and thrust augmentation systems, the facility will be a “one-stop shop.” “We will not need to outsource anything [except paint]. The cars will go from concept to racetrack in this facility,” says Chris Larsen. According to Christina FrederickRecascino, Ph.D., vice president for academics and research at EmbryRiddle and the driving force behind the development of the Research and Technology Park, the agreement with
Larsen Motorsports is a “win-win” for all involved. “Our positive and productive relationship with Larsen Motorsports set the stage for their move into the Research Park,” she says. “We believe that our College of Engineering working with Larsen Motorsports will advance research in highperformance vehicles and jet propulsion systems.” Larsen sees the partnership providing internship and hands-on training opportunities for students in multiple fields of study to include human factors, meteorology, airframe/power plant, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and business. “Aerospace and motorsports go hand-in-hand,” says Larsen, who left a 17-year career working in airframe and power plant at Cessna in 2002 to pursue his passion for racing full time. “The technologies are almost exactly meshed. There are a ton of different disciplines at EmbryRiddle that fit in this huge business we call motorsports.”
Chris Larsen (center, right) works with students involved in the construction of the first student designed-builtoperated jet car at the Prescott Campus. Larsen serves as an advisor of this student team.
Students and Embry-Riddle professors will also be involved in Larsen Motorsports’ ongoing research for the development of advanced turbine engine alternative fuels. According to Larsen, a subsidiary goal for the facility is to increase awareness, interest and ultimately growth of the jet car racing industry.
Elaine Larsen, co-owner and chief driver for Larsen Motorsports, says the facility’s location should enhance its success in this area. “Daytona International Speedway, which has nearly year-round activity and has been a crucial part of the growth of the Daytona Beach area, is in the line of sight of the Research Center. The research and development opportunities for other motorsports teams are endless,” she says. “It’s for the Larsens, it’s for EmbryRiddle, but by and large it’s for the students,” adds Chris Larsen. “This is our way to give back.” The Larsens’ Embry-Riddle Race Team has won several Best Engineered awards for its vehicles and is among the leading exhibition teams in the nation. Chris Larsen also advises a group of students at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus, which is developing the first student-designed, -built and -operated jet car. The projected date of completion for the car is December 2012.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lift - Fall 2011
Lift - Fall 2011
Table of contents
Letter from the President
Partnership expands high-performance vehicle research
Birds of a feather
We made it happen in 2011!
A winning combination
Blue sky landing
Lift - Fall 2011