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The nation's only Formula Hybrid Competition preps for its 7th year

Mar 21, 2013

Dartmouth's 7th annual Formula Hybrid Competition will take place April 29 – May 2 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.

Sherbrooke in the autocross
Universite de Sherbrooke runs the autocross event at the 2012 Competition. (Photo by Kathryn LoConte Lapierre.)

This year, twenty teams are registered for the nation's only Formula competition focusing on hybrid-car technology.

“I have been honored to participate as a special judge at the Formula Hybrid competitions," said Harold Flescher, nuclear physicist, IEEE Life Fellow, and 1995 SCCA FP National Champion. "The opportunities young people today have to participate in hands-on learning experiences like FH is something we never dreamed about in the 1960s. The depth of knowledge and creativity shown by these students is amazing and inspiring, and each year I anxiously await seeing the new approaches shown and technologies used by these students.”

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.

"One exciting change for 2013 is that we are moving the endurance event to the hill section of the road course," said Doug Fraser, Research Engineer at Dartmouth and Director of the Competition, "It will be a 0.95 km course with two 12-meter elevation changes per lap."

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. (See School Day video.)

For all other spectators, "the best day to attend is Wednesday, May 1st for the morning Acceleration Runs or at 1:00pm for the Autocross Event," said Amy Keeler, the Competition's new 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, Toyota, Chrysler, SolidWorks, and Tesla Motors.

"IEEE has supported Formula Hybrid since its inception as a way to involve students in breakthrough research and technology, and hands-on multidisciplinary engineering projects," said Kristen Fitzpatrick of
IEEE's University Partnership Program. "Equally important to our future technology professionals is Formula Hybrid’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and honing the soft skills important to developing as leaders in their industry."

2012 Videos

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