Training the Engineers of Tomorrow
The growing popularity of stock car racing, as well as the expansion of the motorsports industry in Charlotte, North Carolina, led engineering students to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in hopes of pursuing a career in NASCAR. To meet student demand, the UNC Charlotte College of Engineering began an automotive and motorsports engineering program in 1998. The program’s founding followed the establishment of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship four years earlier. The Kulwicki Scholarship is awarded each year to one incoming student planning to major in mechanical engineering.
In 2009, the Kulwicki family donated money to the College of Engineering for additional scholarships and new equipment for the motorsports lab. In recognition of the gift, the University renamed the lab the Alan D. Kulwicki Motorsports Laboratory. Three years later, the University opened the Motorsports Research Building nearby, featuring the new research equipment and additional space for graduate education.
The motorsports engineering program continues to bring talented engineers to the Charlotte area. Many of them come chasing the dream of a racing career, just as Kulwicki did before them. His contributions to NASCAR continue to make an impact on the motorsports industry and engineering education at UNC Charlotte.