Engineering seniors, operating in design teams, apply principles of the design process to create a product or process to meet the needs of a customer. Projects may originate in industry, as a contest sponsored by a professional society, or in other venues. The design team, with the guidance of a faculty advisor, must plan, direct, conduct, and effectively communicate the results of the design effort through a professional engineering report and oral presentation. The design project will include material within and beyond the curriculum as well as technical and non-technical considerations. Design projects often result in a deliverable prototype.
Every year the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) holds a variety of design and build competitions for college students. Following a tradition begun by the class of 2007, the Engineering class of 2014 at York College has decided to enter the Formula SAE competition, which is the most challenging and prestigious of all the SAE competitions. The Formula SAE competition will allow us to conceive, design, analyze and fabricate a small formula-style racing car. In May we will take our car to Michigan for judging and comparison with approximately 150 other vehicles from colleges and universities throughout the world.
2014 Competition Results
The FSAE competition events test several aspects of the car's performance. The skid-pad tests its turning ability, the acceleration event its ability to drive quickly in a straight line, the autocross event its overall performance, and the endurance event its durability. Vehicles are also required to pass a detailed safety inspection and undergo a critical design review with judges from the automotive and racing industries.
The YCP car was able to pass many of the checkpoints, including the technical inspection, on the first run through. It passed a noise test (quieter than 110 db) and brake test (accelerate to a point, lock all four wheels while skidding to a stop) on the first try. Several adjustments were necessary for the tilt test, during which the car is tilted to 60 degrees and then checked to make sure all four wheels remain on the table, simulating a 1.5 g-force turn.
Of the 120 registered teams, YCP placed 94th in the overall competition. The team tied for 38th place in the design competition, 64th place on the cost report, and 50th place in the acceleration event. YC Racing was able to compete in every event at the competition.
YC Racing literally went down in flames this year during the final event of the competition. The car started overheating during the eighth lap, and the engine was knocking by the tenth. During the 11th lap, a connecting rod broke and went through the engine block. Oil spilled from the hole in the engine block and poured onto the hot exhaust headers, causing YC Racing’s fiery finish. The driver was able to egress in less than 5 seconds!!
A Fiery Finish!!!