By Michael Hart
Lyn St. James
Who will be the next-gen racers, team engineers and professionals who make up tomorrow’s motorsports and performance industries?
Go to the “Conversations” series’ Wednesday-morning session, when SEMA Board Chairman Doug Evans talks “Performance Careers” with two racers on the grid you should know: IndyCar driver Lyn St. James—one of only seven women to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the first woman to be named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year—and Julia Landauer—a recent STEM graduate of Stanford University and now a full-time Toyota stock-car driver on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Everyone involved in next-generation performance and motorsports may not have a degree from Stanford, but they will have to be tuned into science, technology, engineering and math in a way previous generations of professionals never were.
“Racing technologies and performance products are critical to the continued relevance and innovation within the SEMA community for longtime members as well as next-generation businesses, racers, enthusiasts and fans,” said John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle technology. “Performance vehicles launched at this year’s auto shows are excellent examples of advanced technology transfer from the track to the street in the areas of vehicle electronics, software, aerodynamics, materials, data acquisition and systems engineering.”
One of Evans’ highest priorities as SEMA chairman has been to entice students to study engineering and technology and aspire for the exciting jobs in racing and performance. Evans, also president and CEO of High Performance Advisors, wants to ensure students interested in these careers take the right paths.
Waraniak will lead the November 2 conversation with Evans, Landauer and her mentor St. James.
“Right now, the talent pipeline to next-generation motorsports is pretty slim,” Waraniak said. “There are thousands of vacancies with automakers and suppliers in performance and racing that they can’t fill.”
This session is a must-attend to anybody interested in the future of motorsports and any young person who wants to discover the path and hit their marks with a next-generation career in the performance industry.
“You’re going to learn the information and trends you need to know regarding how motorsports and careers in the performance industry are evolving,” Waraniak said.
For complete information on all the 2016 SEMA Show education tracks, visit SEMA Show Education.