College of Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
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ME: The Mechanical Engineering Department Newsletter


The ME Newsletter
Spring-Summer 2007

Featured articles

UW-Madison racing team zooms into first place at international competition

Frank Fronczak receives
2007 Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award

Mechanical Engineering Building construction: Finishing touches

Research team works
to improve informatics education

Regular Features

Message from the Chair

Faculty News

Student News

Alumni News




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Photo of the Formula SAE Racing Team vehicle

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UW-Madison racing team zooms into first place at international competition

Decorative initial cap The UW-Madison student Formula SAE Racing Team took first place at the international competition in Detroit. One hundred thirty schools from 11 countries on five continents battled it out for the prestigious SAE Foundation Cup during the annual event May 15-20.

Sponsored by SAE International, Formula SAE is a collegiate engineering competition where students design, build and race a formula-style racing car. The competition is divided into two portions: static and dynamic events. The static events consist of a business presentation, a cost report and design judging, representing real-world scenarios that the students will encounter during their careers. In the dynamic events, teams race their cars against other schools. The car is tested in skid-pad, acceleration, autocross and endurance.

After finishing second, third and fourth in the last 10 years, the UW-Madison team finally brought home its first win. In addition to winning the SAE Foundation Cup, the team earned several other awards, including the first-place Ricardo Powertrain Award, second-place Timken Engineering Friction Award, and the second-place Goodyear Best Performance Award. The team is primarily comprised of undergraduate engineering students, advised by Faculty Associate Glenn Bower.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle with the UW-Madison Formula SAE Racing Team

Governor Doyle speaks with team members after a May 28 commendation ceremony. (View larger image)

Students made many updates to the 2007 car, including a switch from racing fuel to E-85, an 85 percent ethanol fuel, demonstrating the team’s commitment not only to building a high-performance car but also to reducing emissions and furthering knowledge of alternative fuels. Among the top 10 finishers, the vehicle from UW-Madison was the only one running on E-85.

On May 20, the UW-Madison car was displayed at the GM Vehicle Engineering Center in Detroit, where it was crowned with two great honors, first place in the design competition and first place overall. The University of Western Australia and TU Graz from Austria finished second and third, respectively. “We’d like to thank the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the College of Engineering, our advisor and our sponsors for all their support,” says team member Blaine Gudbjartsson.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle presented the team with a commendation for their hard work and representation of Wisconsin in the Engineering Centers Building on May 28.



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Date last modified: Monday, 16-July-2007 15:43:00 CDT
Date created: 16-July-2007



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