A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will race their Formula One-style racecars this week at Formula SAE-Lincoln, an international student design competition.
The event will be held June 21-24 at the Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, Nebraska. The competition challenges students to design, build and operate Formula One-style racecars.
As part of the competition, students must present a budget report and discuss the engineering principles behind each car’s design to a panel of industry experts. Each school’s team must also pass a rigorous electronics inspection to ensure the car’s safety. Teams will then compete in four dynamic events.
A skid-pad event tests the car’s turning and cornering on a figure-8-shaped course. An acceleration test measures the car’s speed over a short distance. A one-lap autocross event proves the car’s maneuverability on a tight course and determines the starting order for the final event – an endurance race to prove durability. In the endurance race, the car must withstand the stress of long-term driving at elevated speeds over a long course. Each race is timed to rank the teams; none of the events are head-to-head races.
Missouri S&T’s combustion-engine team focused on reducing the car’s weight for this year’s competition. The car features a newly redesigned aerodynamics package that helps produce approximately 400 pounds of downforce. The team also changed oil systems to an internal wet sump, which saved over 25 pounds. For more information about the S&T Formula SAE team, visit facebook.com/mstfsae.
Missouri S&T is one of the few universities to enter both electric and combustion Formula teams into the Lincoln competition. The university’s Formula SAE-electric will also compete at the event, where they will face similar challenges but had to power the vehicle by battery.
The Formula SAE Design Team is one of 18 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.