Momentum - February 2020 - 12

STUDENT
GENERATION

Cornell team members set the car's shock pressures.

Beauty shot of M15, Cornell's 2018-2019 competition car.
With the four-hour endurance race in mind, we had
made major changes to reduce steering effort for M14,
which resulted in reported steering instabilities at high
speeds. For M15, we dialed up the trail slightly and
balanced the ensuing trade-off of increased steering
effort by designing the steering geometry to achieve
the highest mechanical advantage in the range of most
used steering angles to mitigate driver fatigue. Our
custom steering rack was redesigned to be oil-filled and
incorporated wiper seals to minimize dirt ingress that
caused wear and steering slop, which contributed overall
to lower effort and more responsive steering. Our testing
showed a 30% decrease in steering effort between 0 and
25 degrees of steer compared to M14, and only a marginal
increase in effort near the steering limits.
A driver can only perform as well as their car, so the
whole team can be proud of its design decisions that
enabled our talented driver to bring home the first-place
endurance trophy in California. 
Design is exciting and in-your-face, like a halo
car zooming past - and that mess of turbulent air
12 February 2020

Cornell Baja SAE team photo at California. Team co-captain Melaney Chen is first from
the left sitting on the ground in the first row. 
that follows is system integration. I vividly remember the California
competition in 2017: I was wrestling an H-arm into the frame
suspension tabs while a teammate hammered away at a bolt grinded
into a conical point jammed through the H-arm bushing and frame
tab holes to align them. That nightmarish assembly procedure was
caused by a multitude of issues that compounded into an H-arm being
unable to align with its corresponding frame mounting points: weld
distortion warped the geometry of the link while machining tolerances
stacked up so that manufactured spacings differed from design. To
mitigate this, we increased the stiffness of our link fixtures to resist
deflection, implemented post-weld stress relief heating to reduce weld
distortion, and used go/no-go gauges to control machining tolerances.
These systematic changes significantly improved overall suspension
interfacing fitments while reducing friction in the system resulting
from out-of-tolerance tight fits. Apart from fitments, frame-suspension
integration was also challenged by our high rear recession angle,
which necessitated suspension link mounting tabs cantilevered from
the frame bars. To improve the load path, M15 introduces a bent floor
geometry to meet the H-arms higher up and shorten the tabs that were
vulnerable to yielding. 

SUMMARY
Cornell's 2018-19 season wrapped up with some great results, including
first place in the Endurance Event at Baja SAE California and second
place in overall dynamics at Baja SAE Rochester. But we also end this
season with new ideas and improvements in mind. With the introduction
of mandatory 4WD in 2021, Baja SAE enters a new era, and I cannot wait
to see how teams will tackle this exciting new challenge.
Melaney Chen, who served as co-captain of the Cornell University Baja SAE
team in for the 2018-2019 season, wrote this article for MOMENTUM. She
graduated with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell in
2019 and now is completing an M.Eng. degree in mechanical engineering
before heading to San Francisco to work full time at Cruise, a self-driving
company partnered with General Motors.

MOMENTUM



Momentum - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2020

Momentum - February 2020
Contents
Getting schooled on benefits
BENEFITS U
STUDENT GENERATION
One-on-One – Grant Prins
Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
BRIEFS
Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Proving ground heroes
Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Beyond the textbook
SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Momentum - February 2020
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2020 - Contents
Momentum - February 2020 - Getting schooled on benefits
Momentum - February 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - February 2020 - STUDENT GENERATION
Momentum - February 2020 - 5
Momentum - February 2020 - 6
Momentum - February 2020 - One-on-One – Grant Prins
Momentum - February 2020 - Engine switch propels UW – Platteville snowmobile team to new heights
Momentum - February 2020 - 9
Momentum - February 2020 - Another year, another successful Cornell Baja SAE team.
Momentum - February 2020 - 11
Momentum - February 2020 - 12
Momentum - February 2020 - 13
Momentum - February 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - February 2020 - Chevy tweaks 2020 Bolt’s battery chemistry to add range
Momentum - February 2020 - Proving ground heroes
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing the 2020 SAE President: Todd Zarfos
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE 101: volunteer recognition
Momentum - February 2020 - Beyond the textbook
Momentum - February 2020 - SAE and GM make smart choice for AutoDrive Challenge Year 3 venue
Momentum - February 2020 - Introducing SAE AWIM Programming Each Other
Momentum - February 2020 - Dossier: Martin Wissink of Oak Ridge National Lab
Momentum - February 2020 - 23
Momentum - February 2020 - Managing expectations for better decision-making and performance
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - February 2020 - Cover4
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