Momentum - February 2019 - 16
SAE DETROIT SECTION HELPS TEAMS
PREP FOR FORMULA SAE SEASON
LISTEN. LEARN. APPLY. That was the underlying
message internalized by the more than 135 college
students attending a Formula SAE workshop organized
by the SAE Detroit Section at Lawrence Technological
University on October 27
"You can get so many ideas from the breakout
sessions," Jeff Tebbe, CEO of Lawrence Tech's 2019
Formula SAE team, told MOMENTUM at the event.
Ranging from 30 minutes to an hour in length, industry
professionals spearheaded sessions that spotlighted a
range of subject matters, including suspension, engine
calibration, aerodynamics, and the like.
With only a few months before the 2019 Formula SAE
competition, the LTU car likely will be a 60% carryover
from the 2018 model that featured a full aerodynamic
"We received very good reviews from judges for being
a first-year aero team. Before 2018, the only body styling
the car had was sidepods and a nose cone," said Tebbe, a
senior majoring in mechanical engineering. The 2018 car
sported an under-tray, a front wing, and a three-element
rear wing. "That aero package will be a nice springboard
for the 2019 vehicle."
University of Michigan-Dearborn Formula SAE Electric
team captain Brian Vera-Burgos liked the visuals of LTU's
car, parked near the UM-Dearborn car and just steps
from the LTU building in Southfield, Mich., that housed
the breakout sessions.
"It's exciting for me to see the Lawrence Tech
combustion car. The body and nosecone look good, and
the aero package looks really nice," said Vera-Burgos.
"That aero package takes it from looking like a go-kart to
looking like a racecar."
"What-if" inspirations were a palpable sentiment at
the one-day workshop. Vera-Burgos said he can envision
the UM-Dearborn electric car with an aero package,
but not for the 2019 season. The to-do list for now
includes design analysis work, rebuilding the suspension,
refurbishing the battery box, and taking steps to ensure
that the car is rules-compliant.
"I already know that our car has a couple of minor
details that are illegal now because of the rules
changes," he continued. "The new battery voltage
limit of 600 will heavily influence changes to our 2020
racecar. But that rule change won't affect the 2019
racecar, as we're going to stay with a 300-volt battery
package," he said.
Many Formula SAE teams are overhauling at least one
major vehicle system while tweaking various subsystems.
It's a challenging workload, especially for rookie team
16 February 2019
Lawrence Technological University's Jeff Tebbe next to the team's
members. Said Michael Weber, Wayne State University's Formula SAE
powertrain director, a junior studying electrical engineering: "This
workshop lets us introduce our new teammates to the engineering and
competition side of being involved with Formula SAE."
WSU's car will be powered by a Honda CBR 600RR, a carryover
4-cylinder/4-stroke from the 2018 car. "The biggest thing for us is
getting a lighter car with more acceleration. We're planning to do
internal modifications to the engine, such as high-compression pistons
and a lightened and balanced crankshaft," said Weber, noting that the
school's 2016 Formula SAE car is being used as a powertrain mule. The
other major undertaking: an aero package.
Tales of triumph and turmoil are typical exchanges among peers.
"When I joined Formula SAE, one of the biggest surprises was the
camaraderie among the teams. I figured it would be, 'This is our secret,
leave us alone'. Of course, there is the competitive side of not divulging
all secrets, but teams do help each other," said Tebbe.
University of Michigan-Dearborn's Vera-Burgos said that Formula SAE
is a great program for applying college coursework learnings.
"Formula SAE also forces you to step out of your field of expertise,"
he said. "Even though I haven't taken any classes on mechanical
dynamics or statics, I've come to learn a little bit about suspension
design and how frame design works."
By Kami Buchholz, MOMENTUM contributor
Momentum - February 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2019
Momentum - February 2019
Go all in with your student membership
Battling the elements
‘Hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck’
Shootout in Canada
How to lead a team
Plan, prepare, and succeed
‘The Eagle has landed’
SAE Detroit Section helps teams prep for Formula SAE season
SAE 101: Organically developed member groups considered for new organization model
DOSSIER: Mario Gutierrez of Robby Gordon Motorsports
Tips for navigating through the entry-level position
New SAE technical paper competition launches
Momentum - February 2019 - Momentum - February 2019
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2019 - Contents
Momentum - February 2019 - Go all in with your student membership
Momentum - February 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - February 2019 - Battling the elements
Momentum - February 2019 - 5
Momentum - February 2019 - 6
Momentum - February 2019 - 7
Momentum - February 2019 - ‘Hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck’
Momentum - February 2019 - 9
Momentum - February 2019 - 10
Momentum - February 2019 - Shootout in Canada
Momentum - February 2019 - How to lead a team
Momentum - February 2019 - 13
Momentum - February 2019 - Plan, prepare, and succeed
Momentum - February 2019 - ‘The Eagle has landed’
Momentum - February 2019 - SAE Detroit Section helps teams prep for Formula SAE season
Momentum - February 2019 - SAE 101: Organically developed member groups considered for new organization model
Momentum - February 2019 - DOSSIER: Mario Gutierrez of Robby Gordon Motorsports
Momentum - February 2019 - 19
Momentum - February 2019 - New SAE technical paper competition launches
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover4