Young engineers at Nottingham need to crowd-fund £1,000 to help them design and build an innovative Formula-style race car for a major global student engineering motorsport competition.
The team aims to showcase the first ever four-wheel drive electric motor car to enter the annual Formula Student competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and now in its 20th year.
They will compete against some 100 other student engineering teams from universities world-wide when their vehicles take to the track at the UK’s iconic Silverstone motor racing circuit on Jul 11th-15th.
"Our goal is to become the UK´s first electric 4-wheel drive Formula Student car. Our approach is unique as we create out-of-the-box designs which flags our team´s engineering capability and knowledge," explains Salomé Sanchez, race team leader at the University of Nottingham.
"The unique planetary gearbox we previously designed received a lot of praise at the 2017 competition. This year we have a motor and advanced gearbox behind every wheel. It provides additional power, which makes the vehicle faster and more efficient.
"It is only our second year involved in the competition; prior to this we'd never built a car before, we started from zero, modelling and building the parts, so it's been a steep learning curve.”
Compared to other established teams, who are backed by big brand, the University of Nottingham racing team is a rookie outfit, going it alone, which is why fundraising is so important to their success.
The team of third- and fourth-year mechanical and electrical engineering students is, however, unfazed by the challenge ahead and has big ambitions to take on the top contenders and win future race titles.
The major vehicle systems and components are now in the final design stages and the team is transitioning to manufacture and assembly.
Fundraising support will ensure they can test drive their working prototype in the next month and then race it at the Formula Student event at Silverstone.
"We are developing our car with a very tight budget compared to our competitors. Many elements of the car are designed and built from scratch here at the university. But there are essential components that we need to buy in and other crucial expenses to get us to race at Silverstone,” said team member, Gordon Potin, a third-year Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering (M3) student.
"Every pound we raise through this campaign will help us cover essential costs, such as funding for race day transport, accommodation and teamwear. If someone prefers to donate in other ways; anything from parts to expertise, that would be a bonus. Our needs are varied so there are plenty of opportunities to work together."
The Formula Student competition combines the need for innovative engineering, careful project management and teamwork to produce each working prototype vehicle that races. The small-scale cars are judged in a series of race tests on criteria including acceleration, fuel economy and endurance.
In addition to the track events, each team must also present a business case to prove their ideas are financially-sound and could be made into a sustainable business.
"Formula Student offers unprecedented hands-on project experience. It’s intensive; with strict deadlines to meet, creative problem-solving and team work required. It is well-respected in industry and participation can lead to internships and career opportunities,” explains Dr. Miquel Gimeno-Fabra, Racing Team supervisor at the University of Nottingham.
Team progress can be followed on the social media platforms below. Sharing posts to spread the word about the project and the team’s fundraising plea is another valuable way people can lend their support.
GoGetFunding page: UoN-RaceTeamgoestosilverstone
Facebook: UoN Formula Student Team
Linkedin : University of Nottingham Racing
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
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