Friedmann brings fresh perspective to Buckeye Current team

Posted: September 22, 2022
Laura Friedmann

Laura Friedmann has always had a passion for motorcycles. That passion is what drew her to join the Buckeye Current electric motorcycle student motorsports team as they prepare to compete in 2023.

Friedmann, a master’s student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at North Dakota State University. Last summer, she interned with Indian Motorcycles, where she helped set two records – one in the 2000cc MPS-PBG and another in the 2000cc MPS-PBF class. This experience affirmed her interest in motorcycle racing. She says, “I am a very competitive person and motorcycle racing combines my interest in engineering with competition. It was so fun to push the boundaries of speed with innovation.”

After applying to Ohio State, she attended a social event with MAE faculty and learned about Buckeye Current – Ohio State’s electric motorcycle racing team.  During this visit, she also met with CAR Director Giorgio Rizzoni, who offered her a position as a graduate research associate. This, in addition to CAR’s specification with land speed racing and electric vehicle technology are what drew Friedemann to CAR.

Rizzoni says, “I was delighted when she accepted this position and even more pleased when she accepted my offer to start immediately after graduation and work during the summer at CAR on a land speed racing project.”

Laura in Buckeye Current bay

In her last three months at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), she has worked on organizing the Buckeye Current team, as well as learning about the different systems involved and learning more about rear suspension.  Friedmann says, “The bike is in the beginning stages and allows me to be with the project from the beginning. The team needed someone with my experience in racing and my skill set in project management - so it was the perfect fit. Buckeye Current allows me to use my skill set to pursue my passion for racing while also working toward my master’s in mechanical engineering.”

“Working with Laura this summer has confirmed my initial impressions of her.  She is a driven, passionate, and intelligent person with excellent people and leadership skills,” says Rizzoni.

The Buckeye Current team will be racing at Speed Week and the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah next August. Their goal is to set new land speed records in the electric under 150 kg class.

Friedemann’s unique experience and dedication to the subject area will be crucial as they prepare over this next year. She says, "I have always had a passion for racing and CAR provides me with the opportunity to learn and understand what it takes to push the limits of speed.” 

Written by Cassie Forsha, CAR Writing Intern