Nine students from Oregon Institute of Technology’s Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering and Technology program participated in the Formula SAE® West Competition held at the California International Raceway in Fontana, California.
June 21, 2011, KLAMATH FALLS, ORE. – Nine students from Oregon Institute of Technology’s Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering and Technology program participated in the Formula SAE® West Competition held at the California International Raceway in Fontana, California on June 18, 2011. Oregon Tech was one of 80 universities from around the world to enter the competition.
The Oregon Tech team finished 29th overall in the competition. "For a brand new team and new car, we did exceptionally well in the competition," said Brian Moravec, professor and MMET Department chair. "I’m really proud of our students. Eight of the students took on this particular project as part of their senior project, so they were really committed to it. The team was given a Formula SAE Recognition of Accomplishment as one of 14 teams that successfully scored in all events, but did not place overall in the top ten. This was a great first-outing in this competition."
In the feature event of the competition, the Endurance Race, Oregon Tech finished in eighth place. "The Endurance Race is a tough test of the engineering and construction of the vehicles; only 30 teams finished this event. We finished just behind schools like MIT and the University of Texas," Moravec commented. "And, we finished ahead of schools such as University of Illinois, Rutgers, and the Honda Technical College."
Formula SAE® is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly Society of Automotive Engineers). The first competition was started back in 1979. Today, the competition has expanded and includes a number of spin off events. In the United States there are two locations for the events: California and Michigan.
The concept behind Formula SAE® is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.
Formula SAE® promotes careers and excellence in engineering as it encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and finances. Formula SAE takes students out of the classroom and allows them to apply textbook theories to real work experiences.
"We plan to give the competition another go next year. The race will take place in Lincoln, Nebraska, so we’ll have to do some fundraising to make that trip, but if we can get there, I think we can really move up in the rankings," Moravec said.
To learn more about Formula SAE® and see results from the competition, visit http://students.sae.org/competitions/formulaseries.
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven institutions in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communications and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech’s main campus is in Klamath Falls; other sites are located in Portland, La Grande and Seattle. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.