BYU professor's final victory lap


After 21 years of leading BYU's Mechanical Engineering Capstone program, Dr. Robert Todd is retiring – but not before he does one final victory lap. The formula hybrid racecar designed and built by engineering students under his supervision took first place at the 2012 SAE Formula Hybrid competition, an international event at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Hybrid Blue, as they call the car, is the final version of formula race cars built under Brother Todd's watch over the last seven years. During the past four years students have worked exclusively on the more challenging formula hybrid cars, with this year's effort the first to take first place. Brother Todd is leaving BYU after overseeing more than 600 projects in the Capstone program over the past two decades.

"When we started Capstone, the industry was eager to partner to increase the relevancy of engineering education," he said. "We're building young men and young women and enabling them to hit the ground running and provide immediate value to employers as soon as they leave school."

A team of 16 engineering students built BYU's formula hybrid race car from the ground up, and then competed against 40 universities across the country and beyond at the 2012 Formula Hybrid event.

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