Momentum - March 2019 - 11

STUDENT
GENERATION

Powertrain tuning specialist,
Seth Burkhalter, collects ECU
data after a run with driver Gill
Lipton at the wheel.
The requirement to produce these documents forced
the team to heavily consider every decision made
throughout the year, while also allowing these decisions
to be communicated to the rest of the team in a
structured manner. This was crucial to preparing for
competition and ensuring a thorough understanding of
the vehicle by everyone.
Finally, UV's approach to advising the team had a great
impact on the team development process. He felt that the
best way for engineering students to learn was by finding
their own solutions to their problems, no matter how
difficult or time consuming. We were never offered much
direction when it came to vehicle design. At first, when
deciding whether we wanted to build a sidewinder car,
UV told us he did not care either way as long as we could
justify it with sound engineering principles. There were
times, however, that he provided much needed guidance.
He would often point out when our justifications were
flawed, or would guide us when our understanding of
a topic was insufficient to see our own errors. He often
discouraged us from seeking outside advice from alumni
and other engineers in the hopes that we would learn to
listen to our own instincts and educations as engineers, a
skill that would carry us far once we were out in industry.
I firmly believe that UV's approach to advising our
program allowed us to learn far more than if he had "held
our hands" along the way.
UV's guidance also bled over into the actual racecar
portion of the project, but more than anything we were
fueled by our desire to win when crafting our approach
to vehicle design, construction, development, and
testing. First, we looked to the history of Texas A&M
Formula SAE. In the previous five years, Texas A&M
had three Endurance Event "did not finish" (DNFs),

MOMENTUM

one victory, and one second-place finish. This information told us that
our number one priority had to be finishing every dynamic event-
Acceleration, Skidpad, Autocross, Fuel Economy, and Endurance. It
was clear that we could build a competitively fast vehicle, but that
meant nothing if it did not finish the race. As the old adage goes, "to
finish first, first you must finish."
Thus, the true challenge resided in designing a car that could do
everything we asked it to when the week of the competition arrived.
The science behind making a racecar fast was simple-we could learn
that from books. However, the science behind making a fast AND
reliable vehicle was far less accessible. Finding a balance between
building a lightweight but reliable car was a terrifying prospect for
young engineers. The only real example we had of how to accomplish
such a task was the 2017 Texas A&M team. The 2017 car accumulated

The team tilts the car to change the tires at competition.

March 2019 11



Momentum - March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - March 2019

Momentum - March 2019
Contents
Making the connection
Briefs
Engineering design process crucial for success
A new perspective on airplane design
Focus on testing fuels win
Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
Over-the-air affair
SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Advertise your interests
Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Momentum - March 2019
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - March 2019 - Contents
Momentum - March 2019 - Making the connection
Momentum - March 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - March 2019 - Engineering design process crucial for success
Momentum - March 2019 - 5
Momentum - March 2019 - 6
Momentum - March 2019 - A new perspective on airplane design
Momentum - March 2019 - 8
Momentum - March 2019 - 9
Momentum - March 2019 - Focus on testing fuels win
Momentum - March 2019 - 11
Momentum - March 2019 - 12
Momentum - March 2019 - Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
Momentum - March 2019 - 2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
Momentum - March 2019 - Over-the-air affair
Momentum - March 2019 - SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
Momentum - March 2019 - 17
Momentum - March 2019 - DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Momentum - March 2019 - 19
Momentum - March 2019 - Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover4
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