Momentum - October 2020 - 6

Student Generation

With the most thorough CFD testing the
team had done yet, designers for the
NFR19 aerodynamics package focused
on increasing downforce while
balancing the car's center of pressure.
While their simulations showed an
undertray would be necessary to avoid
oversteer, in the end driver feedback
led the team to make the costsaving decision to not
manufacture it. 

constant speed, but as fast as he could go,
around that circle, and we recorded
"downforce" measurements from forces on
the shock potentiometers. From a free video
analysis software, we were able to find the
car's center of rotation and yaw angle, and
from there we could come up with a model of
this specific cornering scenario in CFD. We
used a curved tunnel to simulate the air
appearing curvilinear from the frame of reference
of the car, turned the tires the correct amount,
positioned the car at the correct yaw angle,
and set the speeds to be the same as
what we measured. The problem? We
could never make that simulation fully
work on our computers. And the shock
potentiometer data was corrupted. And
then the wing broke off after a dramatic
collision with a traffic cone; we never got
around to fixing it.
But I have faith we'll find a way to make this testing scenario
work, and while there are some fancy gadgets involved, the
drone belonged to a teammate who loaned us his toy, and the
shock pots were already in use on the car. For this testing
scenario, the only cost involved was renting a truck to drive our
trailer to the empty parking lot. Another possibility our garage

A female perspective on engineering
In the U.S., women are less than a quarter of the automotive
workforce and nearly nonexistent at the executive level,
despite making up half this country's workforce. The disparity
starts early, with only 13% of mechanical engineering
bachelor's degrees in 2015 awarded to women, according to
research by O'Leary, M.B., titled "Closing the gender gap in
mechanical engineering."
In the design booklet for Formula SAE Michigan in 2019,
Northwestern Formula Racing listed as our "unique fact" that
our team is 26% women. That's probably an overestimate, but
it's still one of the highest of any of the university car teams.
I've seen countless teams with one or zero women.
Why is it so difficult to recruit and retain women? I doubt
any of my male teammates would self-identify as being sexist,
and most of my female teammates have few incidents of
blatant discrimination that come to mind when asked. The
problem lies in the culture itself, as well as the implicit biases
and life experiences that underlie our daily experiences. The
"boys club" atmosphere of university Formula teams comes
from expectations handed down from generations before and
will continue as we graduate and move into the workforce.
It's been documented: 65% of respondents in a 2020
survey by Catalyst of women in various industries cited an

6 October 2020

"unattractive environment for women" as a reason for avoiding
the automotive industry. One of our subteams "jokingly" refers
to themselves as a fraternity, going so far as to consider
getting clothes with their fake letters on them. In one situation
where I used my past experience and knowledge to challenge
a design's feasibility, I was promptly told by a member of that
subteam to "shut the f*** up" since they didn't believe I knew
what I was talking about-and that's just one example of the
many times I've been talked down to for no reason other than
my gender.
My efforts to fight this culture have been met with backlash
from both men and women: being laughed at by men for
being so sensitive and being chastised by women for being
too aggressive. There's an expectation for women on car
teams to be matronly, warm, and kind, and acting outside of
that norm is punished. The other option is to ingratiate
yourself with "the boys" and allow sexism to prevail
unchallenged for the sake of personal gain, while still having to
walk the line between being "cool" and being "b*****.
All things considered, these issues are stressful to handle on
top of the stress of designing a car, so a lot of women simply
don't bother. Creating an environment where women don't feel
pressure to fit into a mold would ease that stress and make

MOMENTUM



Momentum - October 2020

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

Momentum - October 2020
Big Changes to CDS coming next year
BENEFITS U
Ditching the bells and whistles
One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Ambition and its conundrums
Sprinting to Success
BRIEFS
2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Simulation’s next generation
SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Practicing the ”art of learning”
Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Momentum - October 2020
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - October 2020 - 1
Momentum - October 2020 - Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Momentum - October 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - October 2020 - Ditching the bells and whistles
Momentum - October 2020 - 5
Momentum - October 2020 - 6
Momentum - October 2020 - 7
Momentum - October 2020 - One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Momentum - October 2020 - 9
Momentum - October 2020 - Ambition and its conundrums
Momentum - October 2020 - 11
Momentum - October 2020 - Sprinting to Success
Momentum - October 2020 - 13
Momentum - October 2020 - 14
Momentum - October 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - October 2020 - 2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Momentum - October 2020 - Simulation’s next generation
Momentum - October 2020 - SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Momentum - October 2020 - Practicing the ”art of learning”
Momentum - October 2020 - Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover4
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