Lamborghini has their sights set on the future of super sports cars and they’re partnering with MIT students and researchers to make it happen. Starting in summer 2017, several lucky students and MIT faculty will have the opportunity to participate in the three-year sponsorship deal between the MIT-Italy and Lamborghini.
The strategic partnership will enable MIT students and faculty, and Lamborghini engineers to compare notes and work together on cutting-edge research projects, focusing primarily on new materials in the automotive field, with exchange, collaboration projects, and workshops leading to joint research endeavors. It is an exciting opportunity for the students, of course, and also for Lamborghini who is enthusiastic about the “analytical skills with the research creativity that comes from MIT's students and researchers," said MIT-Italy faculty director Carlo Ratti and director of the Senseable City Lab. The company, which is aiming to pioneer the sports car of the future, is eager to take advantage of the cutting-edge technology and ideas that are brewing on MIT’s Cambridge campus.
Lamborghini is looking for advanced undergraduates with prior lab experience and graduate students in materials science, mechanical engineering, and aeronautics. The students who are accepted into the program, a minimum of two per year, will have the opportunity to live and work at Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. Others will get involved in workshops and other initiatives the collaboration will generate. Although they haven’t yet divulged the specific projects the students will be working on, they said the students can expect to gain experience in the fields of advanced materials, carbon fibers, and electricity storage.
"MIT-Italy program is a two-way bridge linking MIT and outstanding names in Italian industry,” says Dr. Serenella Sferza PhD ’88, co-director of MIT-Italy. “It is hard for us to imagine a better partner than Lamborghini, and we are looking forward to the projects that this partnership will help us develop.”
Although Lamborghini might seem like a niche audience, innovations in the sports car world can, and often have been, a precursor and predictor to overall automotive industry changes, says Ratti. “What is happening at an urban scale today mirrors what happened two decades ago in Formula One. Up to that point, success on the circuit was primarily due to a car’s mechanics and the driver’s capabilities. But then telemetry technology blossomed. The car was transformed into a computer that was monitored in real time by thousands of sensors.”
The MIT-Italy Program enables more than 100 MIT graduate and undergraduate students a year to research, work, and teach in Italy and prepares them for these experiences beforehand.