A team of Missouri University of Science and Technology students will test a Formula 1-style racecar it designed and built against other universities at the Michigan International Speedway as part of the Formula SAE Michigan competition.

The event, a national student design competition sponsored by SAE International, will be held May 8-11. The competition challenges students to design, build and operate small-scale Formula 1-style racecars. Missouri S&T’s Formula SAE Design Team will compete against approximately 100 other teams from around the world. This is the first of two events the Formula team will compete at in 2019 – in June, the team will race in Lincoln, Nebraska.

During the competition, a skid-pad event tests the car’s turning and cornering on a figure-eight-shaped course. An acceleration test measures the car’s speed over a short distance. A one-lap autocross event proves the car’s maneuverability on a tight course and determines the starting order for the final event – an endurance race designed to test the car’s durability. 

In the endurance race, the car must withstand the stress of long-term driving at elevated speeds. Each race is timed to rank the teams; none of the events are head-to-head races. Prior to these dynamic events, teams must present design and business briefings to industry professionals that demonstrate their knowledge. 

S&T student design and manufactured an aerodynamics package that helps produce downforce. For this year’s car, the students overhauled the cooling system, moved it forward and tilted it downward. For the exhaust system, the students moved the muffler to the back of the car to keep air flowing from the engine more efficiently than in previous years. 

For more information about the Formula SAE team, visit facebook.com/mstfsae.

The Formula SAE Design Team is one of 20 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.