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Fine-tuning a real speed machine

Todd Low, professor of automotive technology

For 21 years, I’ve been able to work with automotive technology students in the Sparks Automotive Building to mentor them and give them the hands-on experience they need to be successful in their careers. In the industry, a UVU graduate with a certificate, diploma or degree, combined with some experience, will trump a job candidate without one every time.

Six years ago, we created the UVU land-speed record team as a way for some of our most promising students to get a real-world experience of collaborating on a Salt Flats racer. From rebuilding and tuning the engine, to maintaining and plumbing the turbos, to upgrading the brake system, the students get to experience first-hand the professional side of the automotive and the racing worlds.

It’s fun, it’s exciting and each team member is responsible for a particular assignment on the car. It’s got to be done right, or it doesn’t go out of the shop. The students not only get greater exposure to the industry and develop more in-depth skills, they also get the opportunity to meet other race teams and network with professionals in the industry.

(Read about this story from the perspective of UVU students.)

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