Texas A&M Racing Senior Design Team

The Formula SAE program at Texas A&M University offers engineering students the oppurtunity to be part of a team that designs, builds, tests, and ultimately competes with a small formula style race car. The program is a part of the Senior Capstone Design course. This enables students to thoroughly learn the principles of design, project management, business and engineering in order to apply them towards engineering a competitive car.

After an application process, approximately 20 senior engineering students are selected at the beginning of each Fall semester. The team designs the car during the Fall semester, and manufactures it during the Spring. Once the car is built, it is rigorously tested up until competition. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the team has been split into 4 basic sub-systems: Aerodynamics, Chassis, Powertrain and Suspension. The team also has a separate driver team who focus on developing skills in order to extract the most from the car at the competition. 

Aerodynamics

Team Members: Elliott Molnar (Team Lead), Brian Brubaker, Calvin George, Chase Jones

Starting in 2013, the Texas A&M began to finally dedicate a team solely to developing an aerodynamics package. The Aerodynamics team is responsible for developing the front and rear wings as well as any other aerodynamic devices deemed necessary. The team interfaces with the Chassis and Suspension teams in order to determine appropriate mounting positions, geometry, and to consider additional forces due to aerodynamic devices such as drag and downforce.

Chassis

Team Members: Thomas Revak (Team Lead), Alberto Reyes-Marquez, Emma Partridge, Hannah Mosk, Rebecca Novak

The Chassis team is responsible for designing, simulating, manufacturing and testing the system that supports and integrates all other subsystems on the car. The team ensures that the frame is structurally sound and complies with all rules and regulations including impact attenuation, tubing sizes and driver dimensions. They are also responsible for developing the safety features and driver interface which includes the seat, steering columns, pedals, harness and shifter.

 
 

Powertrain

Team Members: Coleton Teplicek (Team Lead), Ryan Monheim (Project Manager), Andrew Ruddy, Connor Zalesak, Mattias Turner, Tim Paulsen

The Powertrain team is responsible for reliable and adequate propulsion of the car. The team selects an engine and must develop intake, exhaust, fuel and cooling systems in order for the engine to perform. Additionally, the team must design the drivetrain which includes the chain drive, sprockets, differential, clutch, axles, and axle joints. Engine calibration is also critical, and the team goes to great lengths in order to ensure the engine is producing maximum power in an efficient and drivable manner. Finally, the team must engineer the electrical and data acquisition systems. These systems must be thoughtfully manufactured and extremely robust. The data acquisition system must allow for quick analysis of data taken from the car in order to drive setup changes. 

 

Suspension

Team Members: Hunter Poole (Team Lead), Blake Leiker, Daniel Maldonado, Jon Rosen, Tanner Frisby, Tyler Fink

The Suspension team is responsible for the entire suspension system, which includes everything from the tire to the chassis attachment points. Additionally, they must design the braking and steering systems. The team's responsibilities include analyzing different types of suspension, braking and steering to decide which will be most advantageous. They evaluate data provided by the Tire Test Consortium (TTC) which allows them to make decisions about the size and compound of tire to use. 

 

Drivers

The other four teams work hard to develop a safe and competitive car, but the ultimate responsibility of earning dynamic competition points lies on the shoulders of the team's drivers. Open driver tryouts are held every Fall to select new drivers, and the team often retains talented drivers if they have not yet graduated. Valuable input from experienced drivers makes it easier to design a car that may maximize dynamic performance. 

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