UT Arlington Formula SAE racing adviser honored with SAE Triple E Award

The Society of Automotive Engineers has honored UT Arlington engineering professor Bob Woods, the longtime adviser to the University’s Formula SAE racing team, with its annual Excellence in Engineering Education Award.

The “Triple E” Award recognizes outstanding contributions made by an individual toward engineering education. Woods joined UT Arlington’s College of Engineering in 1974 and has developed one of the most successful student racing programs in the country.

Each year, UT Arlington Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students build and compete against peers in a car of their design. Woods’ students currently are developing all-electric model that will be ready for competition in 2014. The students are working on three cars altogether, including a combustion car for this year.

Graduate student J.P. Merkel said Woods offers his students hands-on engineering experience that is a direct pathway to their ultimate careers.

“Nearly all of what you talk about and learn in the lab and on the track can be applied,” said Merkel, who submitted a letter to SAE International recommending Woods for the award. “Dr. Woods helps us see that connection.”

Woods will receive the Triple E Award at the SAE 2013 World Congress scheduled this April in Detroit. One such honor is given annually.

UT Arlington President James Spaniolo also recommended Woods’ for the honor, noting in a letter, “His lasting legacy on generations of engineers transcends his eminent record of accolades and awards over 30 years.”

Woods said he was surprised by news of the award.

“I am so honored by be associated with other leading educators whose work has been recognized before me,” he said. “I have the utmost respect for those professionals who are contributing to automotive engineering.”

The Formula SAE racing program started at UT Arlington in 1982. UT Arlington hosts a friendly competition each summer called Texas Autocross Weekend. It has drawn student teams from as far away as Canada and Florida. This year’s competition is in July.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

Herb Booth, hbooth@uta.edu, 817-272-7075

The University of Texas at Arlington, www.uta.edu