UWA racers take world win
Following its success in the Australian Formula SAE Competition last year, the University of Western Australia engineering team has won a suite of prizes in the world championships held in the US.
The Formula SAE Competition is an engineering challenge in which teams of students conceive, design, build and compete with formula-style racing cars.
In the world championships the UWA team was up against 142 international teams and won the majority of the engineering awards.
The team’s highest accolade was a first in the Best Engineering Design Award, which turned out to be a unanimous decision from leading experts in all areas of motorsport engineering.
The team also won the:
- Suspension System Award;
- William R Adam Engineering Award presented to the top team that exhibits innovative engineering concepts in vehicle design;
- Carrol Smith Memorial Award, named for the former head design judge and race engineering legend, presented to the team with the best engineered vehicle in terms of design and innovation;
- William C Mitchell Rookie Award presented to the best finish for a first year entry; and
- SAE Award presented to the top five rookie teams with the highest overall points.
The UWA team also came second in the manufacturing/marketing event.
UWA Motorsport team member Dean Finlayson said bad weather had hampered the team in some of the driving events.
He said while the car had been the fastest on the track in the wet conditions, most of its top competitors had the benefit of running on a dry track. Despite this, the team also managed to beat all but 13 of its 142 competitors on overall points.
One of the key drawcards of the car was its carbon fibre chassis, completely designed by the UWA team.
So where are the team members now?
Many have since graduated.
Project manager David Riley is now working as a graduate mechanical engineer with Sinclair Knight Mertz in Perth.
Mr Finlayson, who was technical manager and lead suspension designer, is working as a graduate mechanical engineer for Global Solutions, Shell International.
Technical manager and drivetrain designer Terran Barber is working as a graduate mechanical engineer at Orbital Engines.
Chassis designer Michael Haywood has begun his first year of a doctorate at UWA.
Hub and upright designer (suspension team) Paul Livanos graduated recently and is in the job market.
Intake and exhaust system designer James Taylor is working as a graduate mechanical engineer for Kinetic Suspension Systems in Dunsborough.
Brake system designer Brian McLean is completing an engineering internship with BMW in Germany.
The UWA team sent 10 people to the US competition but its original design team was 40 strong.
The team UWA is fielding this year has 70 members.