Defying expectations

People always tell you what not to do. Find out what you can do at IUPUI.

Life in the fast lane

Description of the following video:

[Video: Clips of Chase Wilderman behind the wheel of an FSA racecar.]

[Announcer: Don't go too fast.]

[Video: Shots of the car]

[Chase Wilderman: Once you're driving it, you don't really pay attention to the cameras, I suppose. But it was pretty satisfying to drive the car down the track. I've never driven it with that much traction before. Obviously, that drive strip has a lot of extra grip so cars don't slip on the surface.]

[Words appear: Chase Wilderman, Senior, Motorsports Engineering.]

[Chase: So, it was interesting to feel it with that much get up and go underneath its belts. This is a 2017 FSA car that we competed with in Michigan this past May. We started it in 2016, and it took about a year and a half to design, build, test and compete.]

[Video: Shots of the car's engine]

[Chase speaks: I think it's going to open the eyes of a lot of hopefully, prospective students that are serious about their education, and anyone interested in racing. They'll be able to see that they can not only just go to school for it, but also get sort of a hands-on approach to it, rather than just reading the textbooks about different subjects.]

[Sound: Race car engine revs.]

[Words appear: IUPUI Fulfilling the Promise,]

[End of transcript]

No matter where you look, it seems like Chase Wilderman is there. The college senior is wrapping up his degrees in mechanical engineering and motorsports engineering from the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, but he's also working part-time for Allison Transmission. You can find him behind the wheel in IUPUI's commercials on the television airwaves as well.

IU Communications spoke with Wilderman about his time at IUPUI. Because the TV commercial he appears in will air during the 2018 Winter Olympics, we also asked him for his thoughts on the games.

Q: How has IUPUI prepared you for your career?

Chase Wilderman: I've learned more in and out of the classroom than I ever thought possible -- both theoretical and practical. Most importantly, I've begun to develop the ability to think critically and problem-solve.

Q: What is the single most memorable moment of your IUPUI career?

CW: I'll never forget the week when I participated in competing with a Formula SAE (FSAE) car in Brooklyn, Michigan, that numerous other students and I designed and built from the ground up. Many of us had invested hundreds of hours over the course of two years, which made competing gratifying.

Q: What about the most memorable moment of your motorsports career?

CW: The most memorable moment in my motorsports career was racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, competing for a Sports Car Club of America National Championship with our F-production Mazda Miata. After overcoming several rounds of adversity, we brought home a second-place trophy against the best in the nation.

Q: What advice do you have for others coming through the motorsports program behind you?

CW: I would advise any future students to become involved outside of the classroom as early as possible. There's no replacement for experience.

Q: Did you come to IUPUI thinking you would accomplish what you have?

CW: Attending IUPUI has provided more opportunities than I ever thought possible -- from participating on the school's race teams to interning with IndyCar, Cummins and Allison Transmission to touring multiple Formula One shops in England.

Q: What are your long-term career goals?

CW: After graduation, I'm interested in working for a motorsports or automotive company that specializes in powertrain components.

Scenes from the commercial shoot. Photos by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Q: Time to put you on the hot seat for a rapid-fire round of questions. Winter or Summer Olympics?

CW: Winter.

Q: What's your favorite Winter Olympics event?

CW: I always enjoy watching ski jumping.

Q: If you could compete in a Winter Olympics event, which one would it be, and why?

CW: I would choose speed skating because of the high-paced atmosphere.

Q: What Olympic event do you think is most like motorsports?

CW: The bobsleigh event is the closest to motorsports due to its relationship between man and machine, or sled. In both events, the competitors work to gain fractions of a second.