Indiana State University Newsroom

Motorsports Industry comes to Indiana State April 24

April 14, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Well-known names in motorsports from the United States and internationally will meet at Indiana State University April 24 to network and learn more about the current state of the industry in Indiana and beyond.

The Motorsports Networking Conference, a one-day event sponsored by the Indiana Innovation Network and Indiana State, is designed to bring together industry experts, academic researchers and others involved in motorsports for the purpose of increasing awareness of current activities and possible collaboration. All activities will take place in Indiana State's Myers Technology Center, located at 650 Cherry Street.

"We're looking forward to bringing together the academic and business sides of motorsports," said W. Tad Foster, dean of Indiana State's College of Technology. The conference is made possible from a grant Indiana State received from the Indiana Innovation Network, administered by Accessing Technology Across Indiana.

In addition to networking with those involved in motorsports in Indiana and beyond, a variety of sessions will be offered addressing topics such as academic motorsports programs, data acquisition for motorsports courses, NASCAR tire and track technology and the Motorsports Knowledge Exchange, which is based at England's Oxford Brooks University.

Several sessions will be led by internationally famous names in motorsports design and engineering.

* Sergio Rinland, engineering director for Epsilon Euskadi, will be one of the luncheon keynote speakers. Considered to be one of the top racing car designers of his generation, Rinland has worked exclusively in the world of motorsport. He has been a key member of the engineering staff at prestigious Formula 1 teams including Williams, Brabham and Benetton. Most recently, Rinland was the chief designer for Sauber (known today as Sauber BMW) and Arrows.

* Geoff Goddard, professor of Motorsport Engineering Design at Oxford Brookes University, started his career as a gas turbine apprentice in Rolls Royce Engines before joining Cosworth Engineering to apply his creativity to internal combustion engines. After initial training on the F1 engine program, Goddard led the design of the DFX Indy engine and was then appointed as chief designer responsible for the series of engines that made the name of Cosworth synonymous with winning in numerous major championships around the world or powering flagship cars for major manufacturers until 1995.

Throughout his career he has been responsible for winning numerous World Championships in F1, sports-cars, rally-cars, touring-cars, and motorcycles, plus numerous Indy, IRL, and NASCAR championships, and major events such as Le Mans, while also leading many advanced road engine programs.

* Keith Martin is a lecturer in mechanical engineering at the Open University and a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Higher Education Academy. He has published on fluid film bearings of both hydrostatic and hydrodynamic types, the teaching of computer aided finite element analysis and vehicle dynamics. He has experience in motorsport at the international level as mechanic, driver and team owner. He is affiliated with Oxford Brookes and Cranfield Universities in the United Kingdom, teaching motorsport engineering and with government initiatives such as the Energy Efficient Motor Sport Program.

Among those presenting will be Michael Meecham, manager of the Motorsports Knowledge Exchange in Oxford, England; Chris Fitzgerald, founder of the Hover-club of America and international hovercraft racing promoter; Rollie Helmling, Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Tom Weisenbach, Indiana Motorsport Association; David Handy, chief tire engineer for NASCAR and an Indiana State alumnus; and Bruce Ashmore, former head car designer for Lola and Reynard Indy Cars, and the designer of a new racing series -- the Gold Crown Championship series.

Handy, who has more than 40 years of manufacturing experience with companies such as International Harvester and Michelin before moving to NASCAR, will be in Indiana for tire testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"We are pleased to have David be a part of this conference," Foster said, adding he brings a new perspective to the field.

"David didn't set out for a career in motorsports. It's unusual to see someone retire from industry and go into motorsports," Foster said.

There is no cost to attend the conference, but space is limited to persons working, conducting research or teaching in the fields of motorsports. To reserve your seat at the conference, please contact Tad Foster at or by calling 812-237-3166.


Contact: Tad Foster, dean of the College of Technology, (812) 237-3166 or 

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or