22nd July 2009
Top student engineers and designers at Aston University secured a fantastic top 30 finish in Formula Student after a gruelling three-day competition at Silverstone.
Formula Student is Europe’s biggest student motor sport event, with this year a record 114 teams from 17 countries competing. Aston finished 27th overall out of the 82 teams in its car class, placing the University as the best team in the West Midlands, above Birmingham, Warwick and Coventry Universities. The result was made all the more remarkable with the Aston team suffering a brake disc failure- fixed only moments before the team were due to compete in the sprint and endurance sections of the competition. Despite this setback the team were placed 11th in the endurance and 23rd in the sprint.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, who were hosted by Aston University in the run up to the Formula Aston Competition, were placed at 58th overall. They were placed 2nd in creating the most affordable car, at around $10,000; with the most expensive competitor designing and producing a $46,000 dollar car.
Aston’s team manager, Phill Scott, said he was extremely pleased with a top 30 finish for his team, especially with the last minute set backs to the team’s final preparations. “At one stage we thought that with our failed brake disc at the 11th hour that we would not be able to compete, potentially ruining months of preparation. We had a last minute rally round with all hands on deck to ensure we made the finals and we’re delighted at this fantastic result.”
The Aston team’s car was constructed using the most up-to-date materials and techniques available, to create a single seat lightweight 600cc car. Designed and built from scratch, the car is capable of travelling from 0 to 60mph in under four seconds.
All cars were put through a series of tests, including acceleration, sprint, endurance races, and skid pads. The students’ knowledge, creativity, and imagination were also tested in the equally important design, presentation and cost assessment elements of the competition. This involved students presenting their designs to a group of judges drawn from industry and motor sport.
Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, praised the teams’ efforts; “I am always delighted to see engineering students applying their academic knowledge to real projects such as this as it develops the skills and attributes necessary for future employees and industry both now and in the future. The Formula Student competition is very high-profile and respected throughout the world, and I’m delighted to see Aston and IIT Bombay compete so well in this competition.”
Professor Robert Berry, Executive Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston, who has just returned from a visit to IIT Bombay, said; ‘‘We really value and support innovative engineering at Aston, so we’re delighted that we were able to support our own Aston team and IIT Bombay. This event really does help to encourage and test the skills of the next generation of engineers. It has proved a great opportunity for the two teams to get to know each other and learn from each other.”
For more information on Formula Student, go to www.astonformulastudent.co.uk
To arrange an interview or photograph please contact Aston University Press Officer Alex Earnshaw on 0121 204 4549.