Rocket Motorsports competes in SEA competition at MISWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The University of Toledo’s Formula SAE team, Rocket Motorsports, competed in the annual Formula SAE Michigan competition at Michigan International Speedway on May 14-17.
The Formula SAE competition held at MIS featured 126 collegiate teams from around the world, including 16 teams from Canada, four each from Germany and South Korea, two each from Brazil and Venezuela, and teams from Austria, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and more than 80 teams from the U.S.
Formula SAE is a student-led competition sanctioned by SAE International with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities participating in regional and international competitions. Rocket Motorsports has been building vehicles for regional and international competition since 1995.
Teams of college students are challenged to design, build and race an open wheel formula-style racecar. The SAE program offers students the opportunity to apply theories learned in the classroom and challenges them to apply new concepts and push the limits, often resulting in designs at the forefront of technology.
UT’s Rocket Motorsports finished third in the acceleration category, tied for 15th in design and skid pad, and placed 18th in autocross, 36th in fuel economy, 38th in cost, 87th in presentation and 32nd overall in the SAE event.
“The 2013-2014 season marked the 20th year of our Formula SAE team,” said Dale Hamberg, Rocket Motorsports team leader and a senior in UT’s College of Engineering. This year’s team includes students in a wide variety of majors, from engineering to business, and the car expresses each individual’s knowledge, research and creativity.”
He said the team returned from competition May 18 and was preparing to leave May 21 for the Formula North 2014 Engineering and Design Competition held May 22-25 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Formula North is a Canadian Formula student competition to promote the awareness of practical engineering experience and student innovation that is open to Canadian and international teams.
The SAE Formula competition has been held at MIS since 2008. Spectators are welcome at all SAE Collegiate Design Series competitions and admission is free.
“We continue to find ways to aid in education of students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is always interesting to see all the innovations the students in the Formula SAE have developed throughout the year,” MIS President Roger Curtis said.
“The students compete against the best in the world in the three-day event and it allows us to continue to show off the Irish Hills while providing an economic impact to the local community,” Curtis said.
The Formula SAE Series competitions challenge teams of university undergraduate and graduate students to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with small, formula style, autocross vehicles.
It also teaches organizational, time management and leadership skills while promoting professionalism and encouraging the use of cutting edge technology, according to SAE.
The Rocket Motorsports team was broken down into six specialized areas including team management, chassis, suspension, powertrain, electrical and composite. Each group is equally important to the creation and success of the vehicle, according to Hamberg.
Teams typically spend eight to 12 months designing, building, testing and preparing their vehicles before a competition. The competitions give teams the chance to demonstrate and prove both their creative and engineering skills in comparison to teams from other universities around the world.
“In addition to learning, Formula SAE provides a unique form of competition. Collegiate engineering students from several nations will compete in a series of static and dynamic events designed to challenge their engineering, problem-solving, and teamwork skills,” Daniel Hancock, president of SEA International, stated in the President’s Message for the 2014 competition at MIS.
Over the course of three days, the vehicles are judged in a series of static and dynamic events including: technical inspection, cost, presentation and engineering design, solo performance trials and high performance track endurance. The events are scored to determine how well each car performs.
Dynamic performance, design, manufacturing methods, project budgeting, testing, and final products are judged by leading industry professionals. The judging process tests students to the edge of their knowledge by creating an atmosphere equal in stress level to marketing a product to consumers.
In each event, the manufacturing firm has specified minimum acceptable performance levels that are reflected in the scoring equations, according to SAE officials.
“The students work hard and compete to win. Some will win top honors, others will not but all will leave here winners because they will be better engineering students,” Hancock stated in his message.
The SAE International Collegiate Design Series is a college-level engineering design and performance competition. It is just one of the programs SAE offers within a full continuum of STEM education programs (science, technology, engineering, and math).
SAE also held the F1 in Schools U.S./Canada National Championships in conjunction with Formula SAE Michigan at MIS last weekend. F1 in Schools introduces middle and high school students to the engineering process with teams using 3D Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software to design a Formula One car of the future.
SAE International, the Society of Automotive Engineers, is a global professional organization representing 145,000 engineers and technical experts. The organization has an office in Troy, Mich.
Tags: College of Engineering, Dale Hamberg, Daniel Hancock, Formula North 2014 Engineering and Design Competition, Formula SAE Michigan, Michigan International Speedway, MIS President Roger Curtis, president of SEA International, Rocket Motorsports, SAE International, SAE International Collegiate Design Series™, Society of Automotive Engineers, The University of Toledo’s Formula SAE team, University of Toledo