UW-Madison racing team zooms
into first place at international competition
he 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
Doyle speaks with team members after a May 28 commendation ceremony.
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
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.