A newsletter for alumni, students, and friends of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Formula Racing Team Wins Horsepower Award

Baja car convoy

The SAE Mini-Baja team entered two cars in the Baja West competition in El Paso this past April, vying for honors with 80 teams from engineering schools throughout North America. The 1997 UW car finished 13th overall. The UW team's strengths lie in fabrication, including machining their own gear boxes, something unique among the teams. Drivers of the two cars were Brian Dondlinger and Nevin Hillegas, both ME graduates last spring. (56K JPG)

After winning the Dynojet Horse power Award at the Intercollegiate Design Competition in Detroit and placing third out of 100 teams in the acceleration event, the UW Formula Racing Team had an excellent starting point for the design of the next car for 1999 competition. During the summer, team members did extensive testing of powertrain and suspension components.

Now the team has seven to eight months to build a new car from scratch. Twenty-four of the team's student members are doing the work for college credit, and they are joined by 30 volunteers. One of their major design objectives is to reduce overall vehicle weight below 510 pounds and lower the center of gravity. They plan to use a tubular space frame with carbon fiber panel inserts. Power will come from a Yamaha FZR 600 engine equipped with fuel injection.

To find out more about sponsorship possibilities, you may contact the team's co-leader, Sebastian Strauss via e-mail at or their website,

ME Newsletter is a periodic publication of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Correspondence should be sent to the address below.

ME Newsletter
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1513 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706-1572

      Editor: Gail Gawenda

Designer: Lynda Litzkow

Last Modified: Monday, 15-Feb-1999 12:00:00 CST

DECEMBER 1998 Contents