Motorsport Engineering is developing a foothold, around the World, as a field of academic preparation at the post-graduate level. To gain the appropriate practical skills to augment classroom education, and thus, for the graduates to successfully compete for employment in the Motorsport Industry, it is critical that the degree program has a strong experiential component.
This paper describes the need to take an engineering approach to motorsport education by combining a discovery-based education with the traditional lecture format to realize synergistic results. The idea is that to effectively “engineer” the graduate, the student must have a strong skill set or a strong grasp of the fundamentals. The growth of the current educational program at Colorado State University and the effectiveness of merging the “inside-out” process, typical of the research mission, with the instructional practices of the University and with the needs of the Motorsport Industry are discussed.
Conclusions relate the successes of recent Motorsport Engineering graduates, but also the difficulties encountered in merging this discovery-based approach with the standard research University educational paradigm, and with Industry expectations. To address this it is critical for academia and the Motorsport Industry to engage in open discussions related to the needs of each group if Motorsport Engineering is to become an accepted post-graduate degree program at US universities. It is further suggested that, developing a peer reviewed forum for the presentation of research results and a stronger understanding, within the Motorsport Industry, of how University research can be beneficial are two key underlying factors required to be able to continue to “Engineer the Motorsport Engineer”.