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Formula U Racing | Priorities, Priorities
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Priorities, Priorities

Priorities, Priorities

With the ambitious task of designing an all-new racecar, priorities
and sacrifice have been the name of the game. 
The juniors have been busy conquering the infamous U of U junior year
while coordinating and preparing for the 2014 car, leaving the seniors with the
heavy lifting.  As a result, our blog has
been MIA.  To our sponsors, supporters
and future team members:  we’re sorry we
left you hanging!  So much has happened
over the last couple of months.  Here’s
what you’ve missed:
Progress and Updates
In recent posts we tracked the progress of the team’s 2013 Senior
Design project, specifically the transformation of a carbureted KTM motor into
an E85 drinking, fuel injected, turbo-charged beast of an engine.  However, progress with the engine was greatly
decelerated and the majority of the focus shifted to designing and modeling the
rest of the car in SolidWorks in order to meet other deadlines.  As anxious as everyone is to get the engine running,
there are so many other aspects of the car that also need attention if the car
is going to perform well at the competition this summer.  Many parts and components have already been ordered
while some machining and fabrication has begun. 
A custom engine stand was designed to get the engine on the dyno independently
of the chassis and engine prep has resumed.
In October, the Science and Engineering Career Fair was held
in the Olpin Union Ballroom and the Formula U team was in the spotlight, with
last year’s car being displayed front and center.  Our two largest supporters, Williams
International and Williams, were given prime placement at the event (we know
how to take care of our sponsors!), each receiving more foot traffic than any
of the other companies present at the event. 
The team also gathered a staggering amount of attention from students of
differing fields of study, especially from freshman and sophomore engineering
students.  The future of this program is
brighter than ever!
Much engineering analysis has been done since we last
posted.  A considerable amount of finite
element analysis was performed on the design of a carbon fiber chassis and on
the restrictor for the intake.  Another extensive
FEA study was done on the exhaust to study the effects of unequal length
headers on a single cylinder engine with twin exhaust ports, such as our
KTM.  Hopefully we will be able to get a
summary of these studies on a future post.
Team Philosophy Changes
The last three years have seen the resurrection and
evolution of the University of Utah’s FSAE program and has understandably had its
share of difficulties.  Each year has introduced
motivated and capable students with new, exciting ideas but has perhaps lacked the
proper structure to facilitate correlation with undergraduate and graduate program
objectives.  In order to better align the
FSAE design competition and Formula U team with department courses and
objectives the team will move forward with an iterative design philosophy.
The scope of the FSAE program and racecar design is enormous,
almost overwhelming.  Designing a new car
every year can be a more work than a full-time job!  In the future teams will be encouraged to focus
on a few key areas and proceed with redesign of other areas of the car only
once sufficient progress has been made.  An
example of the effects of this change in philosophy is with the current chassis
design.  The tough decision was made to forego
a composite monocoque this year in order to focus on the powertrain.  A chrome-moly tube frame will require much
fewer man hours to design and fabricate, allowing for more development of other
important areas of the car.  Next year
one of the main senior design projects will be the creation of an all-new
carbon fiber monocoque, integrating with many of the components developed for this
year’s car. 
We anticipate that these changes will be of considerable advantage
to the students, benefitting their classroom education while allowing more time
for deeper engineering analysis complimented by practical application.
As always, we appreciate all of the encouragement and
support!  Stay tuned for future updates.
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