June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.42.1 - 12.42.9
A General Engineering Technology Program in Motorsports Technology
Southside Virginia, in particular the cities of Danville, Martinsville and the surrounding area, is the home of Virginia International Raceway and a rapidly growing motorsports industry. There is a strong need for educational opportunities to support manufacturing and related industries in this region. In the early 2000’s Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville established an associate of applied science degree in Motorsports Technology to help meet the need for technical support personnel. As the industry has grown it has become evident that engineers and technologists are needed at the baccalaureate and masters levels.
Old Dominion University (ODU), located in Norfolk, Virginia (about 200 miles from this region) has a recognized well-established distance learning system called TELETECHNET. Additionally, the institution provides engineering technology education at the baccalaureate level, including a General Engineering Technology (GET) program. The need for higher education in southside Virginia, the availability of the minor courses in Motorsports Engineering and ODU’s long history in distance education set the stage for the development of a General Engineering Technology program with an emphasis in Motrosports Technology.
This program builds on the associate degree in Motorsports Technology program at Patrick Henry Community College, by providing additional laboratory science courses and mathematics courses through calculus, as well as traditional engineering science courses such as thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. The four Motrosports Engineering minor courses are used as major courses in the curriculum. The Old Dominion University courses will be offered in Martinsville both live and through ODU’s TELETECHNET satellite television distance learning system. Laboratories for the Motorsports Technology courses will be uniquely situated at the Virginia International Speedway in Martinsville and at the NASA Langley Windtunnel facility (operated by ODU), in Hampton, Virginia. Plans are to initiate the program in the Fall 2007, as funding becomes available. This paper will describe the detailed development and implementation of this unique program in addition to course and laboratory descriptions for the proposed curricula.
The southside region of Virginia, primarily that region bordered by the cities of South Hill on the east and Martinsville on the west has gone through some rough economic times in the past two decades. With competition from overseas companies, the textile and furniture industries in this region have diminished greatly. In more recent years, the Commonwealth of Virginia has invested heavily in activities related to economic growth in this region. One focus area in economic development has been the motorsports industry. This region is home to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) near Danville and Martinsville Speedway, as well as smaller racetracks in the region. Associated with VIR, Old Dominion University has already teamed
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