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MEng students steal the show at annual bike exhibition and Formula Student car demonstration

An annual bike exhibition and Formula Student car demonstration was organized as part of the MEE 3060, Design Project 3M module on the 18th of April, 2018. The exhibits included 9 groups of students with folding bicycles, 1 group with a design for an inflatable helmet for bicycles and 2 groups of students, one with a single seat race car chassis and the other with a prototype suspension system, suitable for Queen’s Formula Racing (QFR) entry to the 2018 Formula Student UK competition.

The aim of the bike project was to create an innovative, space saving, lightweight and stylish prototype folding bicycle that can complete an urban commute from home to workplace. The bikes were required to follow weight and dimensional restrictions. The bike groups were made to compete against each other in fitting their bikes in a closet space. The groups then went outside to compete in moving around obstacles in a car parking driveway next to the Ashby Building, where several academic and technical staff and visitors for the event from Liverpool had gathered to witness the display.

Thomas McCaughtry of bike group 10 described his experience of the project as a really enjoyable experience. The exhibition day was very rewarding as their team members could talk about their work to supervisors and visitors and also see how all the other groups had different ideas to build unique prototypes. He also said: “Our bike worked well and we were glad all the effort to sort out the finer details early in the design process had resulted in a fully functioning folding bicycle.”

Adam Hall, who was part of the Formula Student suspension team mentioned that the stage 3 design module gave him the opportunity to convert his passion for motorsport into delivering a strong engineering project. The team’s knowledge of vehicle dynamics had progressed through the year and resulted in one team member being offered a placement in Formula 1. He mentioned further that there was nothing more satisfying than seeing a design being used in real-life and it was a credit to the students in the bike groups for designing and building their foldable bikes in a short period of time. Brian Mulholland, part of the Formula Student chassis team commented that being part of the team to design the 2018 chassis was a very rewarding experience. The team enjoyed the challenge of designing and manufacturing a chassis that was lighter and torsionally stiffer than previous years whilst meeting all Formula Student Rules and Regulations. The Formula Student team is looking forward to representing Queen’s University Belfast at the Formula Student UK competition in July and he hopes to bring some silverware back across the Irish Sea.

Also speaking on the occasion, Eoin Murnaghan of bike group 1 said: "For me, it provided an insight into how much work goes into bringing a product from the initial concept to the functional prototyping stage. I found the final exhibition/competition day to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the project as it provided our team with the opportunity to showcase our design and measure it against the other designs within the class!"

An awards ceremony was organized in the later half of the day, where the group consisting of Ryan Irwin, Emma McQuiggan, Jon Lavery, Conn Crawford, Stuart McClatchey and Tiernan Power was awarded a prize for the best bike.