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Dartmouth's 9th Annual Formula Hybrid Competition: Experiential Learning on Wheels

Apr 21, 2015

Dartmouth's 9th annual Formula Hybrid Competition will take place April 27 – 30 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.

This year, 27 teams are registered for the nation's only Formula competition focusing on hybrid-car technology—providing students with a uniquely challenging experiential learning experience. Dartmouth based its event on the Formula SAE® competition, in which the Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) team competed for over 10 years.

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

“I think students should definitely participate in Formula Hybrid because it’s an amazing experience," says Nathalie Capati, Test and Validation Engineer for hybrid/electric vehicles at General Motors. "Not only is it fun but it’s challenging and it’s a way to turn theory into practice.”

University of Idaho's Vandal Hybrid Racing Team car
Last year's winner of the Hybrid Category: University of Idaho's Vandal Hybrid Racing Team.

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, April 29th for the autocross and acceleration events that run from 10:00am to 3:30pm," said Amy Keeler, the Competition's Coordinating Manager. "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, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Toyota, Sports Car Club of America, and LG Chem Power.

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