“Mouser 500 Engineering Challenge” seeks innovative solutions

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 9:31am

Mouser Electronics is seeking engineering enthusiasts from throughout the United States to help the Mouser/KV Racing Technology Team identify innovative solutions to three of its most intriguing racing-related engineering challenges.

The Mouser 500 Engineering Challenge will pose three challenges to participants over the course of this summer in its search for the best solutions. Participants will be asked to develop an innovative solution to each challenge, describe it in paragraph form and submit it for consideration through the Mouser 500 Engineering Challenge website at  Ten solutions deemed to be the best from each challenge will be reviewed by the Mouser/KV Racing Technology Team and the finalist whose solution is judged to be the best in each challenge will win an Apple iPad 3. All three First Prize iPad winners will be entered to win the Grand Prize of an autographed Tony Kanaan racing helmet.

“The advanced technology behind IndyCar racing is an aspect of the sport that many fans may not get to see,” says Larry Johannes, Mouser Electronics’ Vice President of Strategic Marketing. “But we know there are legions of fans who understand and revel in the fact that there is much more that goes on behind the scenes and under the carbon fibre than what fans cheer on along the racing course. It’s the ingenuity, imagination and talent of these fans that the Mouser 500 Engineering Challenge hopes to ignite.”

Each challenge of the four-month competition will focus on a different aspect of racing technology. The first challenge, which runs now through June 15, asks participants to re-design an Automated Damper Vacuum Machine. Each IndyCar uses four shock absorbers, called “dampers,” similar to those found on a passenger car. Throughout a race, racing teams make changes to the dampers based on driver feedback and track conditions. The process used to make these adjustments is managed through an Automated Damper Vacuum Machine – and it’s this process that the initial challenge of the competition asks participants to refine and improve.

“Improving the process for making these adjustments is just one of the many challenges that the Mouser/KV Racing Technology team faces with each event,” Johannes explains. “We’re looking forward to seeing how engineers might approach this issue, as well as how they might best solve the dilemmas posed by the Mouser 500 Engineering Challenge’s two subsequent challenges.”

The Challenge contest is part of Mouser’s extensive racing program. The company first set its sights on an IndyCar sponsorship last year as an innovative way to connect with the industry’s top engineers, and as a high-tech platform to showcase its valued supplier partnerships. Joining Mouser as co-sponsors are TTI, Inc, Murata, Molex, TE Connectivity, Phoenix Contact, Littelfuse, KEMET, Ohmite, Hammond, Harwin, Digi, ebm-papst, Omron, BIVAR, Fluke, and Amphenol.

After a record-breaking 2011 debut, Mouser has teamed up with IndyCar Champion Tony Kanaan and KV Racing for 2012. The 37-year-old is now gearing up for the famous Indianapolis 500 where he will drive the #11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS / GEICO / KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone IndyCar. For the latest updates on Mouser’s IndyCar news and Tony Kanaan, visit


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