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Faculty

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Robert Woods

ROBERT WOODS

For more than 35 years, Robert Woods has helped students build high-performance race cars through UT Arlington’s Formula SAE program, which ranks among the best in the world. Recently, the mechanical and aerospace engineering professor challenged himself to build one of the most iconic race cars of all time—Ford’s Carroll Shelby GT40. After seeing the low-slung, ’60s-era endurance car last year, he bought a replica kit from a British manufacturer with all the parts necessary, from brake fluid to touch-up paint. “The whole planning process and the building have been fun. Then I’ll get to drive it,” says Dr. Woods, who is constructing the vehicle in his garage. “I don’t know what will be the most enjoyable. I suspect it will be the driving.” The manufacturer estimates assembly at 350 hours, but Woods thinks he has exceeded that by “being a bit more meticulous.” While he’s looking forward to road trips, the thrill can’t compare to seeing his students cross the finish line. Last year the Society of Automotive Engineers International honored Woods with its annual Excellence in Engineering Education Award. “What really motivates me,” he says, “is to watch these students grow professionally.”

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