The presidents of Lamborghini and the University of Washington were both on hand recently as UW opened its Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory. As you might guess from that title, the Italian supercar maker is officially teaming up with the Washington school to work on advanced composites. The new Lambo Lab will get a healthy donation for equipment and student support from Lamborghini, and the university will provide research on composite structures and materials, something they know pretty well from working on projects like the 787 Dreamliner for Boeing.
The two organizations have actually been working together for the past two years. Lamborghini engineers have been using the UW lab for months at a time, and UW faculty have flown to Italy to teach classes in Bologna. Graduate students have even been serving internships at Lamborghini. Now that's an non-paying job we'd be willing to work.
After reading the full press release, however, we might not be so enthusiastic about raising our hands to volunteer in the lab. They have one of the best lightning-strike generators around, used to simulate lightning strikes at up to 100,000 amps. The lab also features a pneumatic crash sled and a drop tower to simulate damage from falling objects. We can just see it now, a special edition UW Lambo in Huskies' purple and gold. A couple of photos are in the gallery and the full press release is after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Andrew!
[Source: Lamborghini via UW News]
LAMBORGHINI LEADS DEVELOPMENT OF CARBON FIBER WITH
INVESTMENT IN AEROSPACE RESEARCH AND DESIGN CENTER
~ Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory Opens
with Public Unveiling at University of Washington ~
SEATTLE - October 7, 2009 – Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. officially unveiled the
"Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory" (ACSL)
yesterday with an event held at the University of Washington. The unveiling of the lab
publicly marks the leading super sports car manufacturer's commitment to investing
in the future of carbon fiber technologies by partnering with leaders in aerospace and
composite material development, including University of Washington and The Boeing
Lamborghini has made a substantial financial contribution to the ACSL with the goal
of furthering the university's long-time research in aeronautics and astronautics with
partners such as The Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration for
application in super sports car development. Lamborghini intends to utilize the
studies conducted through the ACSL to develop future vehicles with lighter, stronger
and more versatile materials.
"Lamborghini remains committed to investing in its future, and advancing carbon
fiber composite technologies is the key to achieving many our goals," said Stephan
Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. "As Lamborghini
has long been influenced by aerospace technology, the University of Washington's
collaboration with The Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration is
the complementary fit to furthering our research and development programs that will
continue to set the benchmark in carbon fiber technology."
The ACSL has already contributed significantly to Lamborghini's impact in
certification methodology for carbon fiber composite materials. Lamborghini has
collaborated with ACSL head Professor Paolo Feraboli on research projects since
2001. In 2007, the super sports car manufacturer increased activities with projects
focused on "Crash Behavior of Composite Automotive Primary Structures." Since
2008, Lamborghini has contracted a research project with the Advanced Structures
Technology Group of Boeing Research & Technology, with the ACSL supporting the
"Partnerships between the University of Washington and industry leaders like
Lamborghini give our students the advantage of working on real-world
problems," said University of Washington President Mark Emmert. "We are
excited that University of Washington researchers and Lamborghini engineers
will be collaborating to bring innovative materials to the automobile industry."
Carbon fiber is ideal for use in super sports car manufacturing due to the density
of the material, which is far lower than steel. Substituting steel with carbon fiber
reduces weight, which not only enhances the performance of the vehicle by
increasing the power-to-weight ratio, but also lowers CO2 emissions by reducing
the overall mass. Carbon fiber is also stiffer than other materials, thus creating
better handling characteristics. In addition, carbon fiber provides greater
manufacturing versatility, decreases the time it takes to make parts and simplifies
the structure of the components. These key points provide proof that carbon fiber
is the best material for nearly all applications which are essential for creating
Lamborghini's extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian super sports
The ACSL will provide the setting for testing and characterization, manufacturing
and machining of carbon fiber materials.
Founded in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini is headquartered in Sant' Agata
Bolognese, in Northeastern Italy and manufactures some of the world's most
sought after super sports cars. With 30 dealerships in North America and 92 in the
rest of the world, Automobili Lamborghini has created a succession of dynamic and
elegant super sports cars including the Miura, Islero, Urraco, 350GT, Espada,
Countach, Diablo, Murciélago LP 640, Murciélago LP 640 Roadster, Gallardo SE,
Gallardo Superleggera, Reventón, Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupé and Spyder, and the
recently introduced Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce. For more information on
Automobili Lamborghini, please visit the Web site at www.lamborghini.com.