Come July, QUB Mechanical Engineering students will travel to the Silverstone Circuit in England to compete in the annual Formula Student UK competition. The team, known as Queen’s Formula Racing, has been competing since 2000, finishing seventh overall last year. With almost 100 universities in the fray, this year’s event will feature some of the top engineering talent from across the world.
The team came first in the acceleration event and won the prize for most efficient internal combustion engine in 2017, showcasing QUB’s expertise in this department. This year, the team has grown to a record size of 43 with a much bigger focus on other areas of the car such as suspension and the development of an electric powered car. Following this investment in time and student resource, it is hoped that this year’s car will perform even better than last year.
QFR18 was predominantly designed in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s first semester as a culmination of the student’s third and fourth year projects. The Ashby’s very own machine shop provided the ideal solution to manufacturing the various components found across the car. Five-axis CNC machines engineered complex aluminium designs such as the uprights and rockers, while the technicians helped with the brazing of the chassis.
The car’s assembly commenced at the start of the Easter break and progress is now advancing at a much faster rate since the culmination of exams. The team hopes to have QFR18 built and launched at the start of June to allow for a thorough testing programme at Nutts Corner Circuit, who kindly sponsors the team. Extra effort has been put in by the team, led by final year student Gavin White, to ensure the team has this time to find any bugs in the car and have it set up ahead of the competition.
As well as being marked by the car’s on-track performance, there are also points handed out for static events. These events consist of a design and cost report as well as a business logic case.
“The static events are a big opportunity for improvement from last year,” said team leader, Gavin White. “Being ahead of schedule in terms of the car build should mean that I’ll have more time to ensure these areas are done to a higher level. Hopefully we will do well at this year’s competition. It will be good to see the fruits of our labour being raced around Silverstone. Win or lose, I’ll still feel as if it has been a successful year as I believe we have all learned a lot throughout the team which we can carry forward into our careers.”
Queen’s Formula Racing will compete at the Formula Student UK from 13th till the 15th of July, 2018 at Silverstone Circuit, England. You can follow the team’s dedicated website, queens-racing.com and its numerous social media accounts, to keep up to date with the car’s build progress and its testing programme ahead of FSUK 2018.