Milka Duno knows the rush of going 220 mph down the straightaway and feeling the G-force as she heads into a turn. She also knows the lifelong value of an education – and she was on campus on April 14 to share both experiences. Duno, who races full time on the IndyCar circuit and has four master’s degrees, told engineering students that the skills and knowledge they acquire in college will serve them regardless of the career they pursue.
She should know.
The Venezuela native was working as a marine engineer until, at 26, she participated in a Porsche driving clinic, liked the feel of speed and sense of competition, and changed paths. Her engineering background proved invaluable on the track, she says.
“Engineers are trained to analyze and study. We look at data and we know telemetry” – critical skills in navigating a race track.
She had this advice for future engineers, advice that applies to life on the track as well: “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Don’t let anybody intimidate you. If they say no, you say yes. … The challenge may be difficult but it’s not impossible.”