The Engineering team, led by the Chief Mechanical Engineer and Chief Electrical Engineer, deals with all aspects of building the car itself. It consists of seven systems sub-teams: Structural, Drivetrain, Handling, Ergonomics, Tractive Systems, Low Voltage, and Data Control. Collectively, the teams work together to construct every feature of the car.
The mechanical side of engineering is involved with the mechanical research, design, and manufacturing of the car. Projects typically start in the research stage, then go through concept sketching, and finally get turned into detailed Computer Aided Designs (CAD) models in Solidworks. Throughout the design process, calculations and simulations are used to validate design decisions and ensure components are staying in compliance with the competition rules. Once the design process is completed, the team moves to the machine shop where the components are fabricating using tools such as mills, lathes, CNC machines, and hand tools, and later installed into the car via welding and bolted assemblies.
On the electrical side of engineering, the team works with power electronics, low voltage circuitry, printed circuit boards, controller area networks, telemetry, and more. Electrical-based projects also follow a design process in which they are first designed, then fabricated and tested, and finally installed into the car. Team members who engage with electrical work handle everything electrical (and computer) related including the custom accumulator, tractive systems, LV circuits (safety, controls, etc.), and telemetry system.
“The projects we work on are the chassis (frame), the bodywork of the car, the firewall which sits right behind the driver and protects them from any hot gases or being hurt in case of emergency, and finally the IA (impact attenuator) that is essentially the crumple zone of a car to ensure safety during a crash.
We’re about to create a fiberglass bodywork and a new firewall which are both really cool projects that involve new manufacturing methods the team hasn’t done before.”
– Rachel Fox, Structural Head