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Engineering students take to the fast lane
February 8, 2011

Swinburne University of Technology engineering students are teaming together to compete in the Formula SAE Australasian competition in December.

Formula SAE began in 1978 in the United States as a student design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The competition aims to give final year engineering students the opportunity to work together as a team on a project where they gain practical experience in all aspects of car manufacturing.

“Swinburne has competed in the Australasian event since its inception in 2000,” Chief Dynamics Engineer Doug Gibb said. “This year we have a team of eight primary members, but under the rules we can also seek advice from professional engineers and university staff, but the design and manufacture of the car must be that of the team.”

The 2010 team again decided on a chrome-moly space frame which has been welded by Chief Chassis Engineer and team leader Matt Dwyer. The car’s powerplant is a 600cc motorbike engine that has been extensively tuned by the students and produces an impressive 60kW at 12,000rpm (through a 20mm inlet restrictor). The result is a sleek machine with cornering forces of 2g, braking forces of 1.3g and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in four seconds.

Doug said, because the competition was a course project, the team would be judged on static events where the students will present information on the car’s design, research undertaken, manufacturing, testing, costing and marketing. The assessment also includes dynamic events to see how well the car performs such as skidpan, acceleration, autocross and endurance.

Fantech is keen to assist young engineers in their pursuit of knowledge and practical experience. As a sponsor, the company wishes Team Swinburne all the best for the competition.

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