The end of the semester is here, and with it winter break, one of our busiest times of the year. Having completed the required safety testing, we have just begun constructing our chassis, the team’s fourth carbon fiber monocoque. The chassis lay-up is a month-long process that will continue through the semester break as the whole team pitches in and takes advantage of not having classes. There will be a lot of early mornings and late nights as we work to complete the chassis and the car as a whole. Winter break, the three weeks between semesters, is our most productive time of year as well as one of the most fun for the team since we can devote our full attention to the car.
Along with chassis construction, we will be finishing component manufacturing so that when the monocoque is complete we can begin assembling the car. Before beginning chassis lay-up, the team conducted our Structural Equivalency Spreadsheet (SES) testing at the Composite Vehicle Research Center. The CVRC was founded by our faculty advisor, Dr. Gary Cloud, for research on breakthrough composites. The CVRC also provides our team access to the technology for SES testing, in which we produce sample parts of the chassis and test that they are as strong as traditional steel-tube frame constructions.
Also, in December the team attended Michigan State University’s Design Day Competition. Students from the College of Engineering had the opportunity to have their engineering projects judged, and graduating seniors presented their capstone projects. Each year, the Formula Racing Team is invited to Design Day to display our cars as an example of a finished product of engineering design. Coming up in January the North American International Auto Show will be at Cobo Hall in Detroit and the Michigan State Formula Racing Team will once again have our cars on display from the 17th to the 26th. We love this incredible opportunity to participate in such a major event and look forward to seeing you there!