Texas A&M Racing Senior Design Team
The Formula SAE program at Texas A&M University offers engineering students to be a part of a team that designs, builds, tests, and ultimately competes with a race car.
At Texas A&M, the program is a part of the Senior Capstone Design course. This enables students to learn the principles of Design, Project Management, Business Logic and Engineering in order to apply it towards making a competitive race car.
Approximately 20 senior engineering students are selected at the beginning of every academic year in Fall. The team uses the car they developed over two semesters to compete at an FSAE event at the end of the Spring semester.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the team has been split into 4 basic sub-systems: Aerodynamics, Chassis, Powertrain and Suspension.
Additionally, we have another integral component that literally 'drives' the performance of the car: the Drivers.
Team Members: Elliott Molnar (Team Lead), Brian Brubaker, Calvin George, Chase Jones
For a majority of its years in the competition, A&M has not used an Aero package. Starting in 2011, A&M began to consider and finally dedicate a team solely to developing an aerodynamics package. The Aerodynamics team is charged with the task of developing the front and rear wings as well as the undertray, nosecone, and diffuser for the car. The Aero team interfaces with the Chassis and Suspension teams to determine appropriate mounting positions, geometry, and additional forces due to aerodynamic forces such as drag and downforce.
Team Members: Thomas Revak (Team Lead), Alberto Reyes-Marquez, Emma Partridge, Hannah Mosk, Rebecca Novak
The Chassis team is charged with designing, simulating, manufacturing and testing the skeletal framework that supports and integrates all other subsystems of the racecar. The team ensures that the frame is structurally sound and complies with all rules and regulations including but not limited to impact attenuation, tubing sizes and so forth. The chassis team is also responsible for developing the driver interface and safety features. These include driver seats, steering columns, pedals, harness and much more.
Team Members: Coleton Teplicek (Team Lead), Ryan Monheim (Project Manager), Andrew Ruddy, Conner Zalesak, Mattias Turner, Tim Paulsen
The powertrain team is responsible for essentially choosing the heart of the racecar, its Engine. The team also selects and designs other corresponding drive train linkages such as the differential, clutching mechanism as well as the intake and exhaust system for the engine. The team works hard in tuning the engine to ensure the best possible configuration such that the car may dominate as many race events as possible. The powertrain team is also responsible for the electrical components of the car, including the Data Acquisition System, or DAQ. The DAQ consists of sensors placed throughout the car that aid the team in analyzing and improving car performance.
Team Members: Hunter Poole (Team Lead), Blake Leiker, Daniel Maldonado, Jon Rosen, Tanner Frisby, Tyler Fink
The members of the Suspension team are involved in developing the Suspension, Braking and Steering system for the race car. The team's responsibilities include analyzing different types of suspension, braking and steering implementation methods to decide which would provide the best performance in the car. By evaluating data provided by the Tire Test Consortium (TTC) through their analysis code, the team makes decision about the size and compound of tire to use as well.
While the other 4 teams may work hard to develop a safe and competitive car, the final onus on bringing the points lies on the capable shoulders of the team's experienced drivers. While open driver tryouts are held to select new drivers, the team may often retain drivers from the past year if they have not graduated yet. The valuable input obtained from the drivers to design a car that may maximize the cars and their performance. The drivers are also instrumental in coordinating volunteer activities in the team. Driver tryouts are to be held late in the Fall semester.