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Our team of passionate undergraduate and graduate students are determined to uphold Michigan’s winning tradition in automotive competitions. We’re already deep into designing our original 3,300 mile-per-gallon vehicle, and with major design reviews for the body, engine, and chassis sub-teams this month, we are going at full throttle.
Read on to learn more about our innovative design work and the story of Michigan engineers pushing the limits of efficient technology.
The engineering division is divided up into three sub-teams: body, engine, and chassis. Currently, all sub-teams are finalizing their design plans to ensure that each design optimizes power output, ensures the safety of the driver, and meets the competition regulations.
The body team is concocting a structural monocoque design that will support the chassis loads and serve as the sleek aerodynamic outer shell of the vehicle. The system will satisfy mass and drag requirements, and the team is validating the design with the use of simulation software. As we learn more about the sophisticated composite materials and fabrication processes, we are creating a scaled validation model for wind-tunnel testing.
The chassis team spent the summer analyzing basic vehicle dynamics and designing an ’alpha’ frame to serve as a test bed for other internal chassis components. This will be instrumental in validating the steering and suspension later this fall.
The steering, suspension, monocoque interfaces, and transmission will all have a significant contribution to the vehicle’s overall efficiency performance.
Meanwhile, the engine team is diligently working toward their final decisions to optimize engine performance. Some of these decisions include determining the spark plug location, modifying the Briggs & Stratton cylinder, and achieving stroke increase within the piston.