Vice Chancellor in the driving seat


University of Brighton Vice Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris took to the wheel of a prototype racing car designed and built by a group of our engineering students as part of their degree programmes. And got to take the car out onto the track at Goodwood Motor Circuit, just down from the road from Brighton.

The final version of the car is expected to be entered into next year’s Formula Student contest, Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Backed by industry and high-profile engineers such as our Patron Ross Brawn OBE, the competition aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers. Universities from across the globe are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car in order to compete in static and dynamic events, which demonstrate their understanding and test the performance of the vehicle.

Professor Humphris said: “I was extremely impressed by the car and by the students’ engineering skills and talent. I wish them every success in next year’s competition.”

Dr Daniel Coren who runs the Formula Student module here said: “Formula Student is an opportunity for students to work as a team on a high-profile project with interaction with academic and industry partners. It is a stepping stone for students’ ambitions for a successful career in engineering. One of the students is being interviewed for a position with a Formula One team and all are aspiring to join the automotive engineering industry.”

The car has been manufactured in-house using the university engineering lab’ facilities and a range of rapid prototyping techniques including CAD/CAM CNC machining, 3D printing, laser cutting, plasma cutting, and, as Dr Coren put it, “blood sweat and gears, with students working on the project evenings and weekends”.

The car is designed for short circuit autocross events and is currently geared to for maximum acceleration and a top speed of 70 mph.

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