Dartmouth’s Formula Hybrid gears up for a 6th year of competition

April 10, 2012

Dartmouth's 6th annual Formula Hybrid Competition will take place April 30 – May 3 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. Founded and run by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the competition features high-performance hybrid and electric race cars built by teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students.

Texas A&M's car
Texas A&M runs the autocross event at the 2011 Competition

This year, thirty six teams are registered including from Canada, China/Taiwan, Spain, and Brazil. Of those, seven have registered as electric only—a new official category for the competition.

Dartmouth based its event on the Formula SAE® competition, in which the Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) team competed for over 10 years. (See a video of the 2012 DFR team.)

Like Formula SAE®, students compete in aspects of design, acceleration, handling, and endurance of their vehicle and abide by a long list of rules. Formula Hybrid teams, however, are faced with the additional challenge of optimizing both energy efficiency and sustainability of materials used in their cars.

“This competition provides a framework for teams to explore and engineer new energy-efficient drivetrain technologies," said Wynne Washburn, the competition's Deputy Director, "It's dynamic and exciting and produces an amazing atmosphere of collaboration and learning throughout each team's year-long design and development process."

Supporting the event’s educational mission, and back by popular demand, is Formula Hybrid School Day—scheduled for day two of the competition (Tuesday). Throughout this day, middle and high school students will enjoy guided tours with volunteers from the New England Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and other knowledgeable experts.

For all other spectators, "the best day to attend is Wednesday, May 2nd for the morning Acceleration Runs or at 1:00pm for the Autocross Event," said Washburn, "Then stop by the BBQ hosted by Dartmouth Society of Engineers and the IEEE Student Chapter" (6:00pm).

See the competition website for more schedule information.

Competition sponsors include the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Chrysler, and SolidWorks with generous support from Tesla Motors.