Sometimes it’s all about the cars
I tried to explain that to my co-worker Marie Lang, editorial assistant extraordinaire, as she was proofing my article about Jonathan Peyton, a graduate engineering student, who has worked with an RIT research team on a next-generation blood pump. In the story, he shared that he enjoyed the work, loved the technology challenges and thinks that the work being done will make a major contribution to heart health.
But on the swing side, he’s also quite fond of cars and has been a long-time member of the RIT Baja racecar team. After graduation, he’s going to see about joining a racing team in California. Marie couldn’t fathom why Jon—who has it all engineering-wise—would choose Baja car racing over blood pump development.
I could only answer—it’s a car thing.
I have been covering the different cars and car teams at RIT (Baja, Formula, electric and fuel cars, etc.) for two years now. I tried to explain that you just have to experience it, watch the teams in action, spend some time in the machine shops in engineering, CIMS or CAST and you’ll see gears smoothed, parts designed, test runs happening and quite a few intense, but smiling faces.
Our competitive race teams open their respective seasons this spring and I still am awed by the skill and dedication of the student-designers.
I think I’m humbled too…having had a brother who rebuilt my Chevy Spectrum engine after I threw a rod (yep, that smoking car on the expressway was me…). I realize some of us just turn the key and start the engine. But others, they can actually BUILD the engine.
So RIT’s students build cars, race them and work to make them even better, stronger, faster, not just for racing, but for us everyday folks who just want to make it safely down 390.
It’s great to see that the work is fun and, not-for-nothing, the workers are quite good at what they do.
Not to worry Marie, the heart-pump project will be just as much a success… sometimes a heart just needs the rev of an engine.
NOTE: All RIT’s race teams will unveil new cars at the upcoming Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival….just listen for the engines!