Florida Tech and university affiliate Larsen Motorsports (LMS) turned heads at this year’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC)—the largest such event in the world—by showcasing their newest jet dragster, a sleek and shiny race car powered by a Northrop F-5 supersonic fighter engine.
“The dragster itself gets peoples’ attention,” said Chris Larsen, co-founder and CEO of LMS. “But when we explain that it was designed in part by Florida Tech interns using Siemens Digital Industries software under the mentorship of Northrop Grumman engineers—that’s when their eyes light up.”
LMS is headquartered at Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID), a 100,000-square-foot facility offering the latest digital modeling, simulation, visualization and additive manufacturing technologies.
“We are showcasing the jet dragster at I/ITSEC because the work that our students are doing with Larsen Motorsports at CAMID is revolutionary,” said Marco Carvalho, Ph.D., Florida Tech’s executive vice president, provost and COO, who joined the LMS team at the conference. “They have effectively demonstrated how a small business can activate and generate value from manufacturing software typically limited to use by large corporations.”
In addition to Carvalho and Larsen, Florida Tech representatives at I/ITSEC included Elaine Larsen, co-founder and president of LMS, and Josette Roach, LMS development officer, as well as Florida Tech students:
- Makenzie Wiles, Mechanical Engineering
- Lander Holsinger, Aerospace Engineering
- Christopher Mickel, Mechanical Engineering
- John Koechenburger, Mechanical Engineering
- Justin Woodyard, Mechanical Engineering
The team was also joined by special guest Gerry Deren, vice president of academic enablement at Siemens.