For as long as she can remember, Noel Marshall was intrigued by the sound of a car engine.
Her father had a first-generation Acura Integra. He’d let her hold the wheel and steer sometimes, and she loved revving the engine, when he let her. Soon, she was learning how to change a tire, change the oil, peer under the hood. “I don’t know why; I just liked it,” she says.
That, and an early penchant for math, planted the seed for Marshall to get her degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 2012. Now an applications engineer at Centennial-based Arrow Electronics, Marshall has kicked her love of cars into higher gear, in ways she never imagined possible.
Marshall is lead engineer for Arrow’s team that’s attracted worldwide attention for an unusual project: modification of a 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray to allow a quadriplegic driver to operate it in racetrack conditions. Sam Schmidt is a former Indy Racing League driver who crashed and became paralyzed in 2000. By moving his head and puffing air into a plastic tube, the former racer can drive again. He and the Arrow team debuted the car, which they’ve aptly named SAM (semi-autonomous motorcar), at the 2014 Indianapolis 500.
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