Summer Program in Racecar Engineering

2014 Admissions are taking place now. Please be sure to fill-out the final registration forms sent to you by Tanya.

July 22, 2014 to August 2, 2014 the Performance Engineering project of the Henry Samueli Center for Engineering Science in Design is coordinating a summer program designed to be an introduction to racecar engineering.

The program highlights:

  • July 22, Tuesday, 1:00-4:00pm:  Introduction, race car fundamentals, SolidWorks (Computer lab), Laboratory safety (ET155).
  • July 24, Thursday, 1:00-4:00pm: Drive train, electric vehicle design, internal combustion engines (Computer lab), hand-tools, cutting and grinding (ET155).
  • July 26, Saturday, 1:00-4:00pm: Track day, preparation, equipment and procedures, track safety (ET101).
  • July 29, Tuesday, 1:00-4:00pm: Chassis, suspension steering (Computer lab), welding training (ET141).
  • July 31, Thursday, 1:00-4:00pm: Lap simulation (Computer lab), Chassis project (ET141).
  • August 2, Saturday, 1:00-4:00pm: Track day, Time trial and energy management (16H).

Sign-up and Apply for a Scholarship

The cost of this program is $695 and is payable to the Regents of the University of California. Scholarships are available.

If you have any questions, please contact Prof. McCarthy,

Please sign-up and apply for a scholarship by filling out the form Registration for Summer Program in Racecar Engineering and we will contact you at the email address that you provide.  Space is limited and registration is not finalized until payment is received.


The program will be located at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering on the UC Irvine campus. Parking in the Anteater Parking structure.


Robert “Smitty” Smith graduated from Alabama Institute of Aviation Technology with a degree in Aviation Science. He has been a professional crew member and crew chief for national championship I/O Boat, Stock Car, Champ/Indy car, and Reno air racing teams. An expert in WWII aircraft restoration, he has also been employed by Cessna aircraft, Kenworth trucks, International Harvester trucks, and Toyota Racing Development for his expertise in aerodynamics and power-plant technologies. He has worked for over eight years to advance the racecar engineering program at UCI. With Prof. McCarthy he created and managed the UCI Energy Invitational, which will align with the Solar Decathlon to become the California Challenge in October, 2013. He has served as an FSAE California design judge and is the Energy Invitational Head Safety Steward. A life long motorcycle racer, sports car enthusiast, and master engine builder, he is still actively competing in motor sport events.

Philip Chipman graduated from Purdue University as an aeronautical engineer and worked at Rockwell International, now Boeing, for over 30 years serving as lead systems architect, program manager, chief engineer, and deputy director for a wide range of government systems. He is an expert in electric vehicle design, the inventor of the Chipman Wind and past champion of the UCI Energy Invitational. His electric vehicle design expertise, broad knowledge of engineering practice, and personal style is an inspiration to racecar engineering students.

Steve Heck received his teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach and served as a High School educator in welding and machining for over 29 years, most recently at Western High School. He joined UCI in 2011 to organize fabrication training for senior projects across the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and recently coordinated fabrication training for the First-year Project Engineering course. He has trained and supervised UCI’s racecar fabrication teams for the past two years.

Michael McCarthy is the Henry Samueli Professor and Director of the Center for Engineering Science in Design. He has guided the UCI racecar engineering program since 2003. His student race teams have built 12 racecars with drive systems ranging from gasoline, CNG to hybrid and electric. In collaboration with Robert Smith, he organizes the UCI Energy Invitational, which is an energy time trial that promotes energy-efficient high speed racecar design. His teaching and research have been recognized by a number of awards including the 2009 ASME Machine Design award and the 2010 UCI Teaching Excellence in Undergraduate Engineering Award.

 2013 Summer Program: Ready for Testing

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2013 Summer Program: Vehicle Testing

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2013 Summer Program: Chassis Testing

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