Why Annual Giving Matters

“When it came down to it, this was not a team of just women. Granted, I know it was unique, and that’s what set us apart from the other racers, but we’re a team of engineers.” - Natalie Ferrari ’12, Hot Wheelz 2012 Captain



Your gifts make a group of women into a team of engineers!

Gifts that support student innovation projects and multidisciplinary design can help make women’s dreams roar to life! The captain of the first Hot Wheelz e-dragster team, aptly named Ferrari, joined with a driver who had raced cars and motorcycles as a little girl, and a team of women engineering students who designed and constructed the electric-vehicle drag racer that won the first Imagine RIT alternative-energy vehicle challenge!

The project was a huge undertaking, the short period of time to build the vehicle and the fact that most of the team members had no ‘automotive build’ experience made it challenging. With guidance from advisors, the team used the engineering design process throughout the project to stay focused on the team goal and become a serious contender.

Ferrari graduated in May 2012 and began a doctoral program in biomedical engineering at Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Driver Maura Chmielowiec will complete her degree in 2016, and serves as a staff member to the Women in Engineering  WE@RIT – organization where she continues as a member of the Hot Wheelz team.

Your support of groups like Women in Engineering and their student multidisciplinary design projects help to provide vital funding for project materials, testing, marketing and recruiting for WE@RIT, and other important needs to make an engineering degree a dream realized by young women.