Headed to auto show

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Jan. 8, 2015

Formula Racing and Solar Car teams on display at 2015 North American International Auto Show

Two student teams from the Michigan State University College of Engineering, along with the cars they designed and built, will be showcased at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Leonidas, MSU's solar-powered car, will make its first appearance at NAIAS this year, while the MSU Formula Racing Team will have a large exhibit for the eighth year in a row at the international attraction.

NAIAS runs from Jan. 12-25 in the Detroit Cobo Center. Student teams and their vehicles will be in the basement of Cobo Center.

NAIAS exhibition details:
Press Preview: Jan. 12-13
Industry Preview: Jan. 14-15
Charity Preview: Jan. 16
Public Show: Jan. 17-25


MSU Solar Car Team
The MSU Solar Car Team is a student-run organization dedicated to advancing research in solar-powered vehicles. The team’s corporate sponsor is Saturn Electronics, one of the world’s top manufacturers of solar technology.The MSU Solar Car Team will put their solar-powered car, Leonidas, on display for the first time at the NAIAS.

“Participating at the NAIAS is of great significance,” said MSU Solar Car Team Project Manager Ali ElSeddik. “It gives us a platform to showcase the team’s most innovative designs and cutting-edge technology advancements within the renewable energy and automotive fields,” the electrical engineering senior from East Lansing noted.

ElSeddik said Saturn Electronics has been donating all the printed circuit boards for the solar team’s latest car.

“Together, MSU Solar and Saturn Electronics are working on advancing technologies used in the team’s solar cars to further realize the team’s goals,” he added.

Raj Sutariya, an MSU alumnus and vice president of Saturn Electronics, said he feels it is important to support the state’s educational institutions and programs, like the MSU Solar Team. “I hope that other Michigan-based companies will step up to the challenge and contribute as well,” he added.

The MSU Solar Team dates to 1999 and was re-launched in 2007, dedicated to the design, building, testing, and racing of entirely solar-powered vehicles by students. Comprised of undergraduate and graduate students at MSU, the team gives its members hands-on multidisciplinary experiences in the engineering, business, and management fields.

For more information, visit www.msusolar.com.

Formula Racing Team
MSU’s Formula Racing Team will once again roar into NAIAS and this year will show off SR14, the innovative racer they designed and built in 2014.

MSU's Formula Racing Team car will be on display in the basement of Cobo Center during NAIAS.Project Manager Nicholas Decker, a mechanical engineering senior from Rochester Hills, said this year’s Formula Racing car will be on display alongside cars from five or six other Formula SAE teams from universities around the state.

“This is a great experience for student engineers, who get the real-world exposure they need to better understand the industry,” Decker said. “We learn time management, teamwork, design, and so many other skills by being on the Formula Racing team. Student engineers certainly know how to approach problems after this experience.”

MSU’s Formula Racing Team is made up of about 25 primarily undergraduate students from across the university. Throughout the year they engage in a “design, build, race” project cycle that includes designing a vehicle, procuring and fabricating parts, building a prototype and engaging in extensive vehicle testing.

The students’ vehicle participates in a number of competitions throughout the year, including at Michigan International Speedway and Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, Neb. Formula SAE collegiate competitions are organized by SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers). Competitions are judged on design, the development of a business plan, and several driving tests that rate the performance of the vehicle.

Decker said work on the 2015 car, SR15, has already begun.

For more information on the Formula Racing Team, visit www.msuformularacing.com.