We’re in the driving seat

University of Brighton students are at the home of British motor racing – Silverstone – to test their prototype racing car against teams from around the world.

The vehicle, designed and built by engineering students as part of their degree programmes, is being tested in this year’s annual Formula Student, Europe’s educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. This is the first time the university has entered.

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Backed by industry and high-profile engineers, the competition runs until Sunday (23 July) and aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers. Universities from across the globe compete in static and dynamic events to demonstrate their understanding and to test the performance of their vehicles.

Sponsored by Santander Universities, the University of Brighton students, led by Dr Daniel Coren, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, tested earlier prototypes at Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris made a pit stop there to meet the team. She said: “I was extremely impressed by the students’ engineering skills and talent. I wish them every success in the competition.”

Dr Coren 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 recently got a job at Jaguar and all are aspiring to join the automotive engineering industry.”

The car has been manufactured in-house using the university engineering laboratory 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”.

Dr Coren said: “It has been designed to satisfy the IMechE Formula Student technical regulations, but also as an educational tool which will be used as part of our undergraduate studies, in particularly, as part of our Vehicle Design Module. As such, it features an ‘exposed structure’ bodywork concept allowing the main structural features to be seen, and also, clear body panels which allow students to see inside the car – the anatomy of a racing car.

“As part of a commitment to research-informed teaching, it is planned  that for each forthcoming season we will apply particular focus on technical areas that reflect our growing and established research themes; such as automotive aerodynamics and advance propulsion systems.”

Team leader Pria Sabharwal, graduating this year in Aeronautical Engineering, said: “It’s been really hard work but at the same time really rewarding – I’ve loved it at Brighton.” Pria said being female in what is traditionally a male-oriented field had been a bonus: “We were invited to the Williams factory and they specifically asked for female engineers. And things are changing. When I started my course there were only five females but now there are 20.”

The students formed ‘Brighton Racing Motors’ to design and build their car, named Apex, to give them experience of running a mock business. Apex is a bespoke design incorporating aerodynamic bodywork, a tubular frame chassis, a motorcycle engine, and fully adjustable suspension, which will be driven by the students at speeds up to 70 mph. It must comply with stringent rules set out by the competition organisers. The team has made use of the advanced engineering and rapid prototyping facilities the university, including wind tunnel testing, engine simulation, 3D printing, plasma cutting and CNC machining.

Dr Coren said: “Tremendous effort from innovative students and support from technical and academic staff has been catalysed by sponsorship provided from Santander Universities, allowing key technical features, especially aerodynamic bodywork, to be incorporated into their new car. Support from businesses in the local community has also contributed to this team effort, including Juarez Fabrication, Pipecraft, and Family Store, allowing the team to make history by building the first ever University of Brighton Formula Student car to compete at Silverstone.”
To follow the progress of the team go to:  http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/brightonracingmotors/ or https://www.facebook.com/BrightonRacingMotors/ or email Dr Coren at d.coren@brighton.ac.uk
The public can attend the Silverstone event – go to: http://www.imeche.org/events/formula-student
To see more about our engineering courses, go to: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/studying-here/subject-areas/engineering-and-construction/engineering/index.aspx and for more information about Formula Student, go to: http://formulastudent.imeche.org/formula-student/

An insight into engineering at Brighton

Prianka Sabharwal, BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering gives us an insight into life as an engineering student at Brighton and the amazing experience taking part in Formula Student offers.

Good luck to Pria and the Brighton Racing Motors team who will be racing their car at Silverstone this weekend as part of the Formula Student competition. Check by here to find out how they got on.

“Not many universities around the UK offer Aeronautical Engineering and out of those that did, I made a point to call and speak to the heads of department. Brighton were by far the friendliest and after the phone call, it solidified what and I already thought, that Brighton was the place for me.
The Robot Wars and Formula Student projects have been real highlights. The projects were different but equally as rewarding. I also loved the opportunity I had to go to the Williams (F1 team) factory tour, that was definitely a day I’ll never forget! Claire Williams specifically asked for female engineers to go.
When Dr Coren released his project options for final year students and they were Formula Student related I was intrigued. I’d never heard of it before and the more I researched it the more I became excited by it.
I am part of the aerodynamics team, focusing on the front wing aerodynamics of the car. I’m also the team leader; a lot of the project is the actual design and manufacture of the car, but there is a lot of business and marketing criteria to meet from the IMechE so I help organise all submissions and liaise with the IMechE.
I think we all have our strong points and I think there are so many people on the team who are just incredible at what they do – but the best part is that we all help each other. For instance, we have someone who is incredible at CAD drawings and he always offered to help with whatever is needed.
Being a part of a team and how to work well in a team is something I’ll take away from my experience. It’s also the first time I have been a part of a project that’s spanned the course of a year, being involved in the start-up, design, manufacturing and then to the end result – it’s rewarding and definitely given me a work ethic that I’ll carry with me. And I have made good friends within the team.
I also did a summer internship at Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai. . It was challenging but the overall experience was amazing. I think being the small fish in a big pond is always nerve racking – especially when I was still a student and they had all been practising engineering for years but it was interesting to see how much responsibility I was given from the get go. It was really interesting to see how things worked in the working world, not just read about them in a text book.
I learnt a lot, not just engineering principles but also work ethic and management. When I came back to finish my final year I found I was more driven and determined to succeed. And it definitely aided my final project decision because I enjoyed it so much.”

 

Racing into our first Formula Student competition

For the first time ever at the University of Brighton, we have a Formula Student team with an official entry accepted for the IMechE Formula Student competition! 

Our team of students from across the engineering division, working as Brighton Racing Motors, having been working hard, designing and engineering a new car as part of their studies. The culmination of their all their hard work is a race meeting at the Silverstone National Motor Circuit in July to test their prototype against student teams from around the world.

The team now have an online presence where you can follow their progress as they work towards the target of preparing their car in readiness for the competition:

Blog: http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/brightonracingmotors/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrightonRacingMotors/
Twitter: @FS_Brighton99

You can catch up with our team face to face and see their progress as part of the Engineering Project Exhibition in the Cockcroft Hall, between 2 and 6 pm today.

For more information about Formula Student at the University of Brighton, or if you would like to get involved, please feel free to get in touch with Dr Daniel Coren directly or pop into our lab in the Cockcroft engineering workshop area for a chat.

For more details about the Formula Student competition:
http://www.imeche.org/events/formula-student/about-formula-student

Here is a taster of the what the event is all about.

Take a sneaky peak around our brand new Advanced Engineering Building

uniofbrightonIt’s here… the first sneaky peak around our brand new Advanced Engineering Building!#Construction is on target for completion by May and the official #opening in September #2017. This project will provide our #engineering #students with specialist teaching #facilities and #modern workshop spaces. There will also be cutting edge #laboratories including a dedicated combustion engine #research area and test cells.


#uniofbrighton #university #uni #campus #student #studentlife #studentspaces #development #building #architecture #design #Brighton #hellobrighton

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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Students’ invention wins top award

A device that ensures you never leave your mobile behind has won University of Brighton students £1,500.

Prince Ansah, studying mechanical engineering at the university, is leader of a team of engineering students which has produced ‘Recall’, a wristband that sounds an alarm should you stray 10 metres from your phone.

The Recall team collected first prize in the Santander Universities’ 60-second pitch awards which support and encourage university students and graduates to present their business ideas in a creative manner.

Prince and his co-founders Jhonny Herrera, Alex Harrison,  Atharsh JeyanaRecall team-Cropped-398x272ndam, Benedict Bowen, James Thompson, Kevin Raivire-Grisot, received support from beepurple, the university’s entrepreneurship programme.

Prince, who is featured in the video pitch, said: “We are still amazed by the result. I would like to thank Santander Universities on behalf of the group for this award. This helps us look forward to the next chapter. It is a great opportunity for us and we are ready to put 100 per cent of our efforts to launch this product into the market.”

Simon Bray, Managing Director Santander Universities UK, said: “Mobile phones have become indispensable in our daily lives and losing it means losing our contacts, agenda, photos, emails and more. Recall is a great idea to ensure you never leave your mobile phone behind. In addition, the University of Brighton team did a great job in pitching the idea in just 60 seconds which is one of the main judging points of the competition. We hope the award money helps the team launching the product into the market.”