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Indiana State announces partnership with Britain's Oxford Brookes University

December 11, 2008

An agreement between two universities is revving up motorsports programs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and may also benefit other industries beyond racing.

Indiana State University and Britain's Oxford Brookes University unveiled the partnership Thursday at the International Motorsport Education Forum (IMEF), held in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry's annual trade show in Orlando, Fla.

The two-year agreement will allow the institutions to work together for mutual benefit, including exchange of faculty and students, joint research and other projects, collaborating on international grant applications and the franchising of courses for delivery via distance education.

"This agreement between two motorsports universities operating on different continents serves to illustrate just how global the motorsport industry has become," Mike Meechan, manager of the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange at Oxford Brookes, said. "Working with ISU adds a whole new dimension to the concept of partnering, and will allow each institution to reach a strategic impact, far beyond that which is possible where the two operate alone."

One aspect of the collaboration centers on research on wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics.

"Indiana State University's College of Technology is working on projects in these areas," said Guy Faulkner, director of Indiana State's Motorsports Initiative. "By partnering with Oxford Brookes we can do even more."

The two universities have enjoyed a successful ongoing relationship over the last two years, since ISU became the first international partner of the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange, which is led by and based at Oxford Brookes.

"This all came about through Indiana State's involvement with the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange," Faulkner said. "Tad Foster, dean of the College of Technology, and I visited Oxford Brookes twice and were able to put together an agreement that extends beyond motorsports."

Foster was very impressed with the programs, faculty, facilities and vision of Oxford Brookes and sensed an affinity between the two schools.

"In many ways they are very similar to Indiana State\'s College of Technology," he said. "They are applied researchers and very student oriented. They also have a great deal of expertise in areas that make collaboration possible and mutually beneficial for both schools."

The agreement between the ISU College of Technology and Oxford Brookes School of Technology will also focus on transferring knowledge and technical skills used in motorsports to other areas, such as aviation, engineering and bio-medical fields.

Meechan and Faulkner first met in fall 2002, during the formation of the UK Government Motorsport Competitiveness Panel initiative, where each contributed important work. Faulkner researched and co-authored the Workforce Development Plan while Meechan created a feasibility study for the formation of a Motorsport Academy.

"It all boils down to the business of winning and the winning of business," Faulkner said, adding the ultimate focus is on innovation and using technology to drive economic development globally and in the state of Indiana.

Oxford Brookes has been in the field of motorsports education for more than 10 years. In the United Kingdom, the relationship between motorsports and higher education institutions is more developed. The partnership will allow Indiana State to begin building a similar relationship in the United States, said Joe Harder, motorsports studies program coordinator for Indiana State's College of Business.

"I look forward in the near future to some exciting new developments in global motorsport education" Meechan said.

About Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Brookes, located one hour from London, England, is a leading university with a reputation for innovation, high-quality education, research and strong links to industry. Its School of Technology is a renowned Centre of Excellence for motorsport.

About Indiana State University
Indiana State University, established in 1865, is a four-year public university that embraces its mission to educate the leaders of tomorrow. With focus on research, experiential learning, and civic engagement, Indiana State excels in working with community leaders across the state to create and implement a vision for a better tomorrow.

Located in a park-like setting in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana State has the facilities, diversity and academic programs associated with large universities, but with the atmosphere of a small, close-knit campus. With a student population of more than 10,000, Indiana State attracts students from every county in Indiana, nearly every state in the nation, and over 80 countries around the world. Indiana State has a long tradition of being one of the most ethnically diverse public campuses in Indiana.

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Contacts: Guy Faulkner, director of Indiana State University's Motorsports Initiative, 812-237-2026

Mike Meechan, manager of the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange, Oxford Brookes University, +44 1865 484240 or mmeechan@brookes.ac.uk

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812-237-3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu

Story Highlights

Indiana State University and Britain's Oxford Brookes University unveiled the partnership Thursday at the International Motorsport Education Forum (IMEF), held in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry's annual trade show in Orlando, Fla. The agreement between two universities is revving up motorsports programs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and may also benefit other industries beyond racing.

See Also:


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