The Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, owned by his Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, is partnering with Texas A&M University in Qatar to provide real-life Motorsports experience for students in engineering-related fields, it was announced today. The program’s first intern, Abdul Wahab, is attending this weekend’s Toyota NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J.
Wahab, a native and resident of Doha, Qatar, is shadowing members of the Al-Anabi Racing Team as they perform their various duties on the Al-Anabi cars. It was an opportunity for him to experience the roar of an 8,000 horse power engine for the first time.
“The whole experience is so awesome! You can actually feel the roar at your feet when these cars move,” Wahab said. “There’s so much thrust in them, it’s just really awesome. I have never been to a place like this or seen a process like this where you assemble the whole engine completely from scratch. You have some parts on the table, but the next time you see them, they’re on the car, and that was a lot of work. I really learned how this team cooperates, works together and produces the kind of performance they get.”
In addition to gaining an appreciation for the technology and the team’s ability to turn components into power and speed, he is learning the differences between the 8,000 horse power engine in the NHRA Top Fuel dragster and a generic production engine.
“The coolest thing I’ve learned is that in my experience, all engines work without a cooling system,” Wahab said. “This is the first time I’ve looked at an engine that produces 8,000 horse power, but there’s no coolant involved. It’s amazing. It’s the most amazing thing I have learned so far.
“I also learned that with the data acquisition system, you just set the parameters, and you let it go. You don’t change the parameters while the car is running. That’s different from conventional cars because with conventional cars, you have the parameters changing and adapting to the environment. With these cars, you have to think of a strategy that will work the best, and in the end, the winner is the one who has the best strategy. I cannot really describe the excitement, but it’s just really, really cool. It’s a lot of fun being here, but it is chilly over here compared to the weather in Qatar this time of year.”
“Seeing Abdul make the connection between what he has learned about engineering in the classroom and how it is applied to Motorsports technology has been gratifying,” Al-Anabi Racing team manager Alan Johnson said. “He is clearly learning a lot and enjoying himself. Our internship program with Texas A&M and Education City in Qatar is the next step in the evolution of our relationship with the nation of Qatar, and we look forward to the future of this important program.”
Education City is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Located on the outskirts of Doha, the capital of Qatar, Education City covers 14 square kilometers and houses educational facilities from school age to research level and branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities such as Texas A&M, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medical College and Georgetown University School of Foreign Services.
Education City aims to be the center of educational excellence in the region, instructing students in fields of critical importance to the Gulf Cooperation Council region. It is also conceived of as a forum where Universities share research and forge relationships with businesses and institutions in public and private sectors. Education City is the vision of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned.
The Al-Anabi Racing internship program is designed to give college students hands-on training in auto design and engineering; they will learn how to effectively combine theory with practical experience in advanced automotive engineering. The program provides real-life experience in many different aspects of engineering and marketing of the 2010 and ‘11 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series World Championship Al-Anabi Racing Team.
Interns will spend the majority of their two-week internships working at Alan Johnson Performance Engineering in Santa Maria, Calif. (www.alanjohnsonperformance.com ) Al-Anabi Racing Team Manager Alan Johnson and his staff design and build racing engine components at this facility. In addition, interns will work with Al-Anabi Racing Team personnel during NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events at race tracks throughout the United States, as Wahab is this weekend.
When the race weekend is complete, Wahab, a recent graduate from Texas A&M Mechanical Engineering School in Qatar, will travel to Santa Maria, Calif. to continue learning at Alan Johnson Performance Engineering. He earned his internship as one of the top-two students in the Texas A&M engineering program on the Education City campus. As part of his engineering education, he worked on a project to build an engine, including all of its components, from scratch, and he won the competition among his fellow students.
To be eligible for this program, students must have completed at least two years of college and be pursuing a degree from the following fields: Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Process Engineering and/or Supply Engineering.
Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) opened in 2003, offering world-renowned undergraduate engineering programs in the Middle East. Cutting-edge techniques and applied research are integrated with innovative classroom instruction to ensure graduates are ready to assume leadership roles worldwide. TAMUQ offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical and Petroleum Engineering; plus a Master’s degree (M.S. or M.Eng.) in Chemical Engineering. Texas A&M’s engineering programs are regularly ranked among the best in the United States. Its graduates are highly sought after by top employers. Texas A&M at Qatar’s reputation for excellence matches its sister university in the United States with its commitment to educating engineers equipped to lead the next generation of engineering discovery.
Al-Anabi Racing operates out of multiple locations in both the United States and Qatar. In the United States, the Brownsburg, Ind.-based operation is a two-car NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series team that is managed by Alan Johnson Racing. Sheikh Khalid’s initiative has created increased international awareness of the nation of Qatar while highlighting the nation’s international sports outreach. Alan Johnson is a 14-time NHRA champion in various capacities including crew chief, team owner and team manager. For additional information on the Al-Anabi Racing Team, team manager Alan Johnson or drivers Khalid alBalooshi or Shawn Langdon, please visit www.alanabiracing.com.