Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Competition: New Roads at Formula Hybrid

Engines revved, drills whined, and sparks flew in the garages at the eighth annual Thayer-founded and -hosted Formula Hybrid Competition held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon in early May.

Along with the usual rigorous rules and regulations, this year’s event introduced a few new cogs in the Formula Hybrid machine, one of which is the mentor program, which affords students the opportunity to form working relationships with automotive professionals.

Dartmouth Formula Racing
ALL SYSTEMS GO: Arthur Bledsoe ’14 (in driver's seat) headed strategic marketing and public relations for the electric vehicle Dartmouth Formula Racing entered in the Thayer-hosted Formula Hybrid Competition. Photograph by Amy Keeler.

“The mentor program connects industry and the universities to help the students with their design process and project management and also helps to give the students a better understanding of what the competition is like and what to expect,” says GM’s Scott Lananna ’08 Th’09.

“The best part of being a mentor is that we’ve been able to go and visit the teams and get to know them personally,” says GM’s Nathalie Capati.

“We didn’t have any connections with suppliers from our school, so the mentors were very helpful,” says student Mike Spinelli from Carnegie Mellon University. Mentors aided students in everything from technical questions to helping teams acquire the right parts for their vehicles.

Another new aspect of the competition is a focus on project management rather than marketing in design presentations. Complementing technical competencies, the presentations require students to demonstrate their communication and team management skills and their understanding of financial, ethical, societal, and global issues.

“Making the change from a marketing event to a project management presentation makes clear sense. These skills are essential to every engineer’s career,” says Formula Hybrid coordinating manager Amy Keeler. “The opportunity to guide students through this process is a chance that Formula Hybrid organizers embrace.”

The event brought teams together from across the globe, including newcomers Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology and RV College of Engineering from Bangalore, India; Atilim University from Ankara, Turkey; the University of Waterloo from Ontario, Canada; Ferris State University from Big Rapids, Mich.; and the University of Akron from Akron, Ohio.

Dartmouth’s car finished first overall in the electric drive class, winning top ranks in the design and endurance events. The University of Idaho team took home first place overall in the hybrid drive class.

—Kathryn LoConte Lapierre

 

Dartmouth Formula Racing’s 2014 Car

Name: Shona
Category: electric
Weight: 700 pounds
Motor: 85 kW, 120 Nm
Accumulator: EiG C020 Li-ion pouch cells
Brakes: regenerative
Special feature: launch control capability

Dartmouth Formula Racing
Dartmouth Formula Racing at the 2014 Formula Hybrid Competition. Photograph by Harvest Moon Design.

 

Learn more about the 2014 Formula Hybrid Competition:

See more videos in the Formula Hybrid Competition playlist on YouTube.

For more photos, visit our Formula Hybrid Competition collection on Flickr.

Categories: The Great Hall, Competition

Tags: alumni, award, energy, extra-curricular, formula hybrid, innovation, international, projects, race cars, students

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