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Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

Author, ‘The Physics of NASCAR’

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 Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Biography

A group of racecars piloted by the best drivers in NASCAR are turning a corner. Without warning, one of the cars suddenly hits the outside wall. None of the cars touched, there were no engine failures or flat tires… so what happened?

This is the question that sparked physics professor Diandra Leslie-Pelecky’s interest in the science of NASCAR. What she thought would be ten-minute search of the web turned into a book, The Physics of NASCAR, that takes NASCAR (and science) fans behind the scenes at top race shops, onto the asphalt at Texas Motor Speedway, and into the garage with the Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ (now Richard Petty Motorsports) No. 19 car.

Leslie-Pelecky is a nationally recognized researcher in magnetic nanomaterials. Her work, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, focuses on fundamental understanding of magnetic materials and application of those materials to medical diagnosis and treatment processes such as magnetic resonance imaging and chemotherapy.

She is also nationally recognized for her work in science education for K-12 schools, future science teachers, and the public. She has directed major projects aimed at improving science education at all levels, supported primarily by the National Science Foundation. Educational materials on NASCAR science are being developed for middle and high schools.

Leslie-Pelecky has given numerous presentations for technical and non-technical audiences, including addresses for the public sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Her book, The Physics of NASCAR, was excerpted by TIME magazine and has been featured in Sporting News magazine. She appears periodically on the Sirius Speedway satellite radio program to update listeners on the scientific principles that affect their favorite drivers.

Leslie-Pelecky earned undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a PhD in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University. She was a professor at the University of Nebraska for 14 years and recently became Professor of Physics at West Virginia University.

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Books
The Physics of Nascar: The Science Behind the Speed

The Physics of Nascar: The Science Behind the Speed

Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology

Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology

Speaking Topics
  • The Science of Speed: Why Driving Fast is Harder than you Think

    Is it really all that hard to drive fast? No – if you assume a spherical racecar. If you think about the physics of a non-point particle turning highly banked corners at 3g on tires with coefficients of friction greater than one, you will quickly realize that there is far more to going fast than stepping on the accelerator. While the driver applies Newton's Laws on the track, a behind-the-scenes group of physicists and engineers are running computational fluid dynamics simulations, developing low-friction coatings, researching energy absorbing materials for safety, and even finding ways to use oranges to reduce flexion losses in tires. Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, author of The Physics of NASCAR and the motorspots blog Building Speed, shows why you cannot win races without getting the math and science right. Although race car drivers may not use terms like ‘impulse’ or ‘friction’, the best of them develop a strong gut-level understanding of the rules of physics. As one driver told her “If I’d only realized that racing was really just math and science, I would have paid more attention in school.” The talk ends with a brief examination of how to use popular culture to get – and keep – people interested in math and science. Level: Can be adapted for any audience from general to physics colloquia. No prior knowledge of racing or physics is assumed.

  • Nano: Why Small is the Next Big Thing

    If you used makeup or sunscreen, pulled something out of your refrigerator, played golf, wore stain-resistant clothing, hugged a stuffed animal, wore an opal, ate a McDonald’s burger, drove a diesel vehicle or painted your house, you probably came into contact with a nanomaterial. The magic of nanomaterials is the surprising discovery that when you make a material very, very small, it doesn’t always act like itself. This knowledge, combined with the ability to make materials with atom-by-atom control, means that we can produce nanomaterials with properties impossible for the same material to have when it is big. Nano creates an amazing new range of possibilities, from surfaces that self-decontaminate in a terrorist chemical attack to nanoparticles that track down and kill individual cancer cells before they can multiply. In 1986, Eric Drexler sounded ominous warnings about the dangers of nanotechnology run amok. He proposed a hypothetical construct called ‘grey goo’: A population of self-replicating nanobots would grow like a cancer and consume everything. While Drexler’s apocalyptic vision was certainly attention getting, ‘grey goo’ has been replaced by a far more realistic and imminent concern. The unexpected properties of nanomaterials means we can make materials we’ve never been able to make before – but it also means that we can’t always predict how those materials will interact with people, animals and the environment. The specter of grey goo is hyperbole. Concern over whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreen can pass through your skin or how antimicrobial nano-silver might be released into waterways are real challenges we face right now. This talk gives a brief history of nanotechnology (which surprisingly starts in the 4th Century CE) and highlights ways in which nanotechnology is already affecting your life, and will be in the future. Level: For the science-interested public.

  • Underrepresented Women in Science and the Arts

    Women (and people of color) remain underrepresented in many areas of science and the arts. The attempts to address this underrepresentation in the different domains have been largely independent of each other, but there is much the two communities can learn by comparing each others' successes and failures.

  • Leaving the Academy

    The ultimate success for a Ph.D. (or equivalent) is finding a tenure-track faculty position, hopefully at a high-ranking institution, garnering success in grants and publications, and graduating a lot of students. What prompts someone to walk away from this dream?

  • From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour

    You cannot win a NASCAR race without understanding science. Materials play important roles in improving performance, as well as ensuring safety. On the performance side, NASCAR limits the materials race car scientists and engineers can use to limit ownership costs. 'Exotic metals' are not allowed, so controlling microstructure and nanostructure are important tools. Compacted Graphitic Iron, a cast iron in which magnesium additions produce interlocking microscale graphite reinforcements, makes engine blocks stronger and lighter. NASCAR's new car design employs a composite called Tegris that has 70 percent of the strength of carbon fiber composites at about 10 percent of the cost. The most important role of materials in racing is safety. Drivers wear firesuits made of polymers that carbonize (providing thermal protection) and expand (reducing oxygen access) when heated. Catalytic materials originally developed for space-based CO2 lasers filter air for drivers during races. Although materials help cars go fast, they also help cars slow down safely—important because the kinetic energy of a race car going 180 mph is nine times greater than that of a passenger car going 60 mph. Energy-absorbing foams in the cars and on the tracks control energy dissipation during accidents. To say that most NASCAR fans (and there are estimated to be 75 million of them) are passionate about their sport is an understatement. NASCAR fans understand that science and engineering are integral to keeping their drivers safe and helping their teams win. Their passion for racing gives us a great opportunity to share our passion for science with them. Level: Can be adapted for audiences from the science-interested public to a physics or materials science colloquium.

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    Booking fees for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

Author, ‘The Physics of NASCAR’

Travels From:
Bowie, MD, USA
Speaking Fee:

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Biography

A group of racecars piloted by the best drivers in NASCAR are turning a corner. Without warning, one of the cars suddenly hits the outside wall. None of the cars touched, there were no engine failures or flat tires… so what happened?

This is the question that sparked physics professor Diandra Leslie-Pelecky’s interest in the science of NASCAR. What she thought would be ten-minute search of the web turned into a book, The Physics of NASCAR, that takes NASCAR (and science) fans behind the scenes at top race shops, onto the asphalt at Texas Motor Speedway, and into the garage with the Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ (now Richard Petty Motorsports) No. 19 car.

Leslie-Pelecky is a nationally recognized researcher in magnetic nanomaterials. Her work, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, focuses on fundamental understanding of magnetic materials and application of those materials to medical diagnosis and treatment processes such as magnetic resonance imaging and chemotherapy.

She is also nationally recognized for her work in science education for K-12 schools, future science teachers, and the public. She has directed major projects aimed at improving science education at all levels, supported primarily by the National Science Foundation. Educational materials on NASCAR science are being developed for middle and high schools.

Leslie-Pelecky has given numerous presentations for technical and non-technical audiences, including addresses for the public sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Her book, The Physics of NASCAR, was excerpted by TIME magazine and has been featured in Sporting News magazine. She appears periodically on the Sirius Speedway satellite radio program to update listeners on the scientific principles that affect their favorite drivers.

Leslie-Pelecky earned undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a PhD in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University. She was a professor at the University of Nebraska for 14 years and recently became Professor of Physics at West Virginia University.

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Books

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Speaking Topics

  • The Science of Speed: Why Driving Fast is Harder than you Think

    Is it really all that hard to drive fast? No – if you assume a spherical racecar. If you think about the physics of a non-point particle turning highly banked corners at 3g on tires with coefficients of friction greater than one, you will quickly realize that there is far more to going fast than stepping on the accelerator. While the driver applies Newton's Laws on the track, a behind-the-scenes group of physicists and engineers are running computational fluid dynamics simulations, developing low-friction coatings, researching energy absorbing materials for safety, and even finding ways to use oranges to reduce flexion losses in tires. Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, author of The Physics of NASCAR and the motorspots blog Building Speed, shows why you cannot win races without getting the math and science right. Although race car drivers may not use terms like ‘impulse’ or ‘friction’, the best of them develop a strong gut-level understanding of the rules of physics. As one driver told her “If I’d only realized that racing was really just math and science, I would have paid more attention in school.” The talk ends with a brief examination of how to use popular culture to get – and keep – people interested in math and science. Level: Can be adapted for any audience from general to physics colloquia. No prior knowledge of racing or physics is assumed.

  • Nano: Why Small is the Next Big Thing

    If you used makeup or sunscreen, pulled something out of your refrigerator, played golf, wore stain-resistant clothing, hugged a stuffed animal, wore an opal, ate a McDonald’s burger, drove a diesel vehicle or painted your house, you probably came into contact with a nanomaterial. The magic of nanomaterials is the surprising discovery that when you make a material very, very small, it doesn’t always act like itself. This knowledge, combined with the ability to make materials with atom-by-atom control, means that we can produce nanomaterials with properties impossible for the same material to have when it is big. Nano creates an amazing new range of possibilities, from surfaces that self-decontaminate in a terrorist chemical attack to nanoparticles that track down and kill individual cancer cells before they can multiply. In 1986, Eric Drexler sounded ominous warnings about the dangers of nanotechnology run amok. He proposed a hypothetical construct called ‘grey goo’: A population of self-replicating nanobots would grow like a cancer and consume everything. While Drexler’s apocalyptic vision was certainly attention getting, ‘grey goo’ has been replaced by a far more realistic and imminent concern. The unexpected properties of nanomaterials means we can make materials we’ve never been able to make before – but it also means that we can’t always predict how those materials will interact with people, animals and the environment. The specter of grey goo is hyperbole. Concern over whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreen can pass through your skin or how antimicrobial nano-silver might be released into waterways are real challenges we face right now. This talk gives a brief history of nanotechnology (which surprisingly starts in the 4th Century CE) and highlights ways in which nanotechnology is already affecting your life, and will be in the future. Level: For the science-interested public.

  • Underrepresented Women in Science and the Arts

    Women (and people of color) remain underrepresented in many areas of science and the arts. The attempts to address this underrepresentation in the different domains have been largely independent of each other, but there is much the two communities can learn by comparing each others' successes and failures.

  • Leaving the Academy

    The ultimate success for a Ph.D. (or equivalent) is finding a tenure-track faculty position, hopefully at a high-ranking institution, garnering success in grants and publications, and graduating a lot of students. What prompts someone to walk away from this dream?

  • From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour

    You cannot win a NASCAR race without understanding science. Materials play important roles in improving performance, as well as ensuring safety. On the performance side, NASCAR limits the materials race car scientists and engineers can use to limit ownership costs. 'Exotic metals' are not allowed, so controlling microstructure and nanostructure are important tools. Compacted Graphitic Iron, a cast iron in which magnesium additions produce interlocking microscale graphite reinforcements, makes engine blocks stronger and lighter. NASCAR's new car design employs a composite called Tegris that has 70 percent of the strength of carbon fiber composites at about 10 percent of the cost. The most important role of materials in racing is safety. Drivers wear firesuits made of polymers that carbonize (providing thermal protection) and expand (reducing oxygen access) when heated. Catalytic materials originally developed for space-based CO2 lasers filter air for drivers during races. Although materials help cars go fast, they also help cars slow down safely—important because the kinetic energy of a race car going 180 mph is nine times greater than that of a passenger car going 60 mph. Energy-absorbing foams in the cars and on the tracks control energy dissipation during accidents. To say that most NASCAR fans (and there are estimated to be 75 million of them) are passionate about their sport is an understatement. NASCAR fans understand that science and engineering are integral to keeping their drivers safe and helping their teams win. Their passion for racing gives us a great opportunity to share our passion for science with them. Level: Can be adapted for audiences from the science-interested public to a physics or materials science colloquium.

FAQs on booking Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

  • How to book Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    Booking fees for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Diandra Leslie-Pelecky or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky generally travels from Bowie, MD, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Donna Hicks, Peter Girguis, Mina Bissell, David J. Brenner and Pasi Sahlberg. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Diandra Leslie-Pelecky for an upcoming event.

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Speaking Topics

  • The Science of Speed: Why Driving Fast is Harder than you Think

    Is it really all that hard to drive fast? No – if you assume a spherical racecar. If you think about the physics of a non-point particle turning highly banked corners at 3g on tires with coefficients of friction greater than one, you will quickly realize that there is far more to going fast than stepping on the accelerator. While the driver applies Newton's Laws on the track, a behind-the-scenes group of physicists and engineers are running computational fluid dynamics simulations, developing low-friction coatings, researching energy absorbing materials for safety, and even finding ways to use oranges to reduce flexion losses in tires. Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, author of The Physics of NASCAR and the motorspots blog Building Speed, shows why you cannot win races without getting the math and science right. Although race car drivers may not use terms like ‘impulse’ or ‘friction’, the best of them develop a strong gut-level understanding of the rules of physics. As one driver told her “If I’d only realized that racing was really just math and science, I would have paid more attention in school.” The talk ends with a brief examination of how to use popular culture to get – and keep – people interested in math and science. Level: Can be adapted for any audience from general to physics colloquia. No prior knowledge of racing or physics is assumed.

  • Nano: Why Small is the Next Big Thing

    If you used makeup or sunscreen, pulled something out of your refrigerator, played golf, wore stain-resistant clothing, hugged a stuffed animal, wore an opal, ate a McDonald’s burger, drove a diesel vehicle or painted your house, you probably came into contact with a nanomaterial. The magic of nanomaterials is the surprising discovery that when you make a material very, very small, it doesn’t always act like itself. This knowledge, combined with the ability to make materials with atom-by-atom control, means that we can produce nanomaterials with properties impossible for the same material to have when it is big. Nano creates an amazing new range of possibilities, from surfaces that self-decontaminate in a terrorist chemical attack to nanoparticles that track down and kill individual cancer cells before they can multiply. In 1986, Eric Drexler sounded ominous warnings about the dangers of nanotechnology run amok. He proposed a hypothetical construct called ‘grey goo’: A population of self-replicating nanobots would grow like a cancer and consume everything. While Drexler’s apocalyptic vision was certainly attention getting, ‘grey goo’ has been replaced by a far more realistic and imminent concern. The unexpected properties of nanomaterials means we can make materials we’ve never been able to make before – but it also means that we can’t always predict how those materials will interact with people, animals and the environment. The specter of grey goo is hyperbole. Concern over whether titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreen can pass through your skin or how antimicrobial nano-silver might be released into waterways are real challenges we face right now. This talk gives a brief history of nanotechnology (which surprisingly starts in the 4th Century CE) and highlights ways in which nanotechnology is already affecting your life, and will be in the future. Level: For the science-interested public.

  • Underrepresented Women in Science and the Arts

    Women (and people of color) remain underrepresented in many areas of science and the arts. The attempts to address this underrepresentation in the different domains have been largely independent of each other, but there is much the two communities can learn by comparing each others' successes and failures.

  • Leaving the Academy

    The ultimate success for a Ph.D. (or equivalent) is finding a tenure-track faculty position, hopefully at a high-ranking institution, garnering success in grants and publications, and graduating a lot of students. What prompts someone to walk away from this dream?

  • From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour

    You cannot win a NASCAR race without understanding science. Materials play important roles in improving performance, as well as ensuring safety. On the performance side, NASCAR limits the materials race car scientists and engineers can use to limit ownership costs. 'Exotic metals' are not allowed, so controlling microstructure and nanostructure are important tools. Compacted Graphitic Iron, a cast iron in which magnesium additions produce interlocking microscale graphite reinforcements, makes engine blocks stronger and lighter. NASCAR's new car design employs a composite called Tegris that has 70 percent of the strength of carbon fiber composites at about 10 percent of the cost. The most important role of materials in racing is safety. Drivers wear firesuits made of polymers that carbonize (providing thermal protection) and expand (reducing oxygen access) when heated. Catalytic materials originally developed for space-based CO2 lasers filter air for drivers during races. Although materials help cars go fast, they also help cars slow down safely—important because the kinetic energy of a race car going 180 mph is nine times greater than that of a passenger car going 60 mph. Energy-absorbing foams in the cars and on the tracks control energy dissipation during accidents. To say that most NASCAR fans (and there are estimated to be 75 million of them) are passionate about their sport is an understatement. NASCAR fans understand that science and engineering are integral to keeping their drivers safe and helping their teams win. Their passion for racing gives us a great opportunity to share our passion for science with them. Level: Can be adapted for audiences from the science-interested public to a physics or materials science colloquium.

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky News

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Speakers Similar to Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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