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How to Create a Formula-Style Race Car from the Ground Up

Mechanical engineers from the Frank Batten College of Engineering & Technology are in the midst of designing a formula style race vehicle for an international competition. An ODU team, including mechanical engineers interested in the automotive or motorsports industries, will venture to this student design competition known as Formula SAE (FSAE) and organized by SAE International. These student engineers will get hands-on experience designing and manufacturing vehicles using SolidWorks software that helps them create components and simulate vehicle dynamics before fabrication.

The team is led by David Mooney. The mechanical engineering major says he chose Old Dominion based on its motorsports program. Planning on starting his own high performance design company to consult race car teams with aspirations of becoming a crew chief in NASCAR, Mooney sought to become part of FSAE because of the "hands-on experience building a race car, [opportunity of] going and competing in Michigan, as well as [the associated] networking with industry professionals. The networking is key as having the necessary connections are needed to break into the job market."

This month has been a big month for the team. They recently received $3,500 worth of parts. Most of the modeling for the car has been uploaded to the server just in time to get to work on installing parts. The marketing team has made progress with a Twitter account (Follow us @ODU_FSAE), and plans to introduce a new team website in addition to Facebook page (www.facebook.com/OduFormulaSaeTeam) are moving along as well.

Interested in joining? We can use your help even if you are not an engineering major! Art, business, chemistry, English, physics and even sports medicine majors can be of value to this team! Please contact David Mooney at dmoon004@odu.edu with any questions.

Published on: April 1, 2013