Post-Competition Newsletter 2016

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends,

With the conclusion of the FSAE-A competition for 2016, our preparations for 2017 are already well underway! However, the change of year also marks a change in management for the team, with the departure of our 2016 Project Manager Jamie Morton, to be replaced by our 2016 Engineering Manager, Kailin Sullivan.

This final newsletter for the 2016 season includes a summary from each of our managers, looking back at the highs and lows of the past year. 

I hope you are well and enjoying the fresh start that 2017 brings.

Kind regards,

Clare Nolan
2016 Business Editor

Project Manager’s Summary

This being the last article I will write as the Project Manager of the team, there is so much I would love to say about our achievements last year. However, I will be brief. Some of the highlights of 2016 included:

  • Beginning relationships with new sponsors, as well as retaining sponsors who have been with us for many years.
  • Collecting over $1500 of donations from family and friends through our Go-Fund-Me campaign.
  • Raising over $400 in donations for MS Australia.
  • Regaining support from the University for an on-campus workshop for the team.
  • Creating our first 3D Aerodynamics Package, with trials on the electric shift system well on their way.
And last but not least, finishing 10th out of 22 teams for the Internal Combustion Cars, and 15th out of 32 teams overall, at the 2016 Formula SAE-A Competition! Please click here for a more detailed break down of results.

2017 promises to build on these achievements, with a new management team lead by Kailin Sullivan (the 2016 Engineering Manager), Matthew Howe as the Engineering Manager and Aidan Scanlon as the Technical Director. Our senior members will be leading the charge on the Electrical Vehicle development in 2017 to compete in the 2018 FSAE-A competition. Launching these new vehicles will be a fresh challenge for the team, but our results in 2016 have validated our ability to achieve, even with limited resources. We go into 2017 only hungrier to out-perform ourselves this year and next.

Thank you for your continued trust and generosity. Through your support, you have helped bring opportunities to students who wanted to do more, learn more, develop and to try new things outside the regular structure of their degrees. Besides the technical skills of building a race car, our members experience the soft skills that are so crucial in any workplace today, not to mention the friendships and enjoyment gained from working with a large team on a common goal.

While my period leading the team is concluding, I cannot wait to see what the team and its supporters achieve over the coming years. I couldn’t be prouder of those taking my place. Good luck to all with your endeavours in the New Year.

Kind regards,

Jamie Morton
2016 Project Manager

Engineering Manager’s Summary

This is my most satisfying newsletter article to write for the year, telling you about our successes at the recent Formula SAE Australasia competition. All of this could not have been possible without our team members, and, of course, our sponsors and supporters.
The team achieved many of our various goals at the 2016 Competition. We improved our scores in the Cost and Engineering Design events, plus we finished every dynamic event. We placed 15th overall, and in the top ten for internal combustion vehicles. This is something that everyone in our team can be proud of, while still leaving us plenty of room to improve in the future. We can look back fondly at our finished product, ADL-16.

ADL-16 in action during the Autocross event

To our team members, a big thank you! While there were plenty of early mornings, late nights and long days, I hope that you have gained as much from 2016 as I have. Not only did you help to design, build and compete a race car, but you also put your careers one step ahead of many other young engineers, marketers and business people.
To our sponsors and supporters, including our friends and families, thank you for your help. Your contribution, be it time, money, advice or support, went a long way to help us achieve what we did.

Celebrations after completing the Endurance event

Despite the last FSAE year being barely over, our team has already commenced planning in earnest for 2017. This looks like an exciting year, especially given where we can head from our recent successes.
To a certain extent, 2017 makes a changing of the guard for the Adelaide University Motorsport Team, with new management keen to lead the team further. I would like to take this chance to say thank you to Jamie Morton, our outgoing Project Manager. Although I will do my best, your efforts will not be easy to follow. To Matt Howe, my successor as Engineering Manager, and Aidan Scanlon and Calum MacDougall, our new Technical Directors, welcome aboard. I am keen to see you grow further from your previous junior management roles.
I look forward to seeing you all, team members, sponsors and supporters, throughout the 2017 Formula SAE year.
Remember, only 332 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2017…

Kailin Sullivan
2016 Engineering Manager

Business Manager’s Summary

2016 has been another challenging, but exciting year. First and foremost, I must thank all the team’s sponsors, without whom this project would not exist. As Business Manager,  I have enjoyed getting to know all our sponsors, and working on building strong relationships with those who support the team.

As I mentioned, this year has seen a significant increase in the team’s involvement in external events and community. From the university’s O-Week in March 2016, where the team and vehicle were on display and eager to talk to new students, to visiting the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, where we enjoyed presenting the team to the wider public. The team also displayed at the Adelaide University final year project exposition, Ingenuity, to industry representatives and the public. At the end of Semester 1 and 2 the Club and Team held fundraising BBQs on campus, raising over $400 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of SA. These are just a few of the events which the team attended in 2016. We are already planning for more events in 2017, including a Sponsor Drive Day in the summer.

Left to right: BBQ for the MS Foundation in November; Presenting to new students at O-Week in March 2016; ADL-15 at RAA Street Smart in July 2016.

2017 is set to be an exciting year with the opportunities that will arise for both the internal combustion and the electric vehicles. We thank you for your continued interest in the team, and hope you have had a safe and enjoyable New Year.

Many thanks,

Scott Adamson
2016 Business Manager

Launch Night 2016 + Exciting Announcement!

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends,
On November 24th we were extremely proud to reveal our new challenger, ADL-16. With sponsors, team members, and family in attendance, the night was a huge success. Our special thanks goes to the Sporting Car Club of South Australia for providing the venue for the night.

For those who were unable to attend, we have produced a special newsletter to outline some key announcements made that night as well as some stunning pictures of the car. Additionally, we filmed a live stream of the speeches and official reveal, which can be found on our Facebook page.

With our first ever 3D wing aerodynamics package and Electronic Shifter, ADL-16 brings some significant performance parts to the table. Along with a new air intake, an engine rebuilt from the ground up, and new exhaust package, ADL-16’s upgrades give us a great chance to break back into the top 10 of FSAE teams, and maybe even further.

The night also provided a reminder of how much we have to thank everyone for their continued support. It is namely your support and generosity that creates this fantastic opportunity for students from any degree, at any level, to grow and develop their technical, professional, and even life skills.

With the 2016 FSAE competition kicking off this Thursday the 8th of December, the next week will prove extremely busy for us. Stay tuned to our social media, as we look forward to bringing you all the action from Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne.

Kind regards,

Jamie Morton
Project Manager 2016

Announcement – AUMT FSAE Electric and Autonomous Teams

While the past years have been challenging, it is time to close that chapter and begin a new one. With an incredible amount of work from management and the team, and support from our sponsors, the team is in a position to expand and create more opportunities for students to develop, learn and innovate. AUMT will no longer be one team, but three.
IC, Internal combustion / EV, Electric vehicle / AV, Autonomous Vehicle
Looking at our underlying aim of innovation, demand in the ever-changing market, and a desire from students and the University to evolve and push the boundaries of our abilities, we are creating the University of Adelaide’s first ever FSAE Electric Vehicle Team and the radical FSAE Autonomous Vehicle team.  This is not a short-term strategy, and will be undertaken in several stages – The first being a wave of Final Year Projects from Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Students in 2017 to develop the electrical drivetrain package, as well as make advances in Chassis, Suspension and Aerodynamic designs for both the IC and EV Vehicles.  2017 will be purely a design and test year for the EV team, with its first competition in 2018. On the AV side, 2017 will begin with feasibility studies and some small-scale research, building momentum to beginning full development in 2019.

With this strategy comes significant structural changes, which we will detail to you all in early 2017. What we can tell you now is that:

  • The three teams will run under the AUMT banner, with IC, EV and AC tags differentiating the teams.
  • While the teams will have a project and engineering manager, there will be a Global Management and Business group falling under the Adelaide University Motorsport Club banner. This means there will be one business team dealing with all sponsorship and event matters for all three teams.

This management structure is intended to allow the team managers to purely focus on the team and car themselves, with the AUMC management governing direction and developing and maintaining administration process such as finances, OHS, Long-Term Strategy/Security, Direction, Recruitment and Events. We believe this change will help us produce our best cars ever, while opening more doors to students looking for management experience.

We are incredibly excited, and with these changes your support will touch many more students and promote you to a wider range of audiences. This opportunity is daunting and will certainly not be easy, but with your support we feel confident in our ability to bring this innovation into reality. We hope you are equally excited about these developments, and are looking forward to taking this journey with us.

Kind regards,

Jamie Morton
Project Manager 2016

Quarterly Newsletter – October 2016

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends, welcome to the final instalment of the Adelaide University Motorsport Team’s quarterly newsletter for 2016. With competition just around the corner in December, the team is working harder than ever to prepare and present ADL-16. 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing our progress throughout 2016 through these newsletters. To keep you up to date closer to competition, we will be sending out two Competition Specials, one in the week prior to the competition, and one in the week following.

Until then, I wish you a happy and successful remainder of 2016!

Clare Nolan
Public Relations Manager 2016

Project Management News

2 months till competition…
Back on campus…
Our most advanced aerodynamic package ever…
And a teaser to the biggest announcement on the AUMT’s future since its inception in 2001…

The future is looking much brighter.

Welcome to the most challenging, but exciting, time of the year! While our engineering and business teams work frantically to ensure that competition in December is a successful attack on the top 10, the project management team has never stopped working towards this team’s future. With careful planning and management over the past two years, our efforts are starting to come to fruition with a recent grant from the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering to move our workshop back onto the North Terrace campus at the University of Adelaide!

Having a home again is one of the single greatest rewards to the members who have fought and continued to fight to keep this team going since the end of 2014. It is also a credit to the resolve of the newer members, who have made do without the opportunities of old and managed to stretch resources to incredibly thin limits. Additionally, we deeply appreciate the fact that our ability to continue at all since 2014 has been entirely due to the generous support of our sponsors. Ultimately, the skills we have gained from these last few challenging years have prepared us for an industry which faces its own challenges with increasing costs and competition, and sustainable innovation issues. And it is these skill sets and determination that are leading us into a new and exciting time for the team. Our future is looking much greener…

This year, on the 24th of November at the 2016 AUMT Launch Night, we will not only be revealing the 2016 car for the first time, but also the team’s future with an outline for the next 3 to 5 years. In the last few months, I have asked the team why we are here, what do we stand for, what do we want to achieve?  What does the university want to see? What about our community and sponsors? To succeed, we need to work smarter. We are innovating our future. What this means will be revealed on launch night.

To our sponsors, you will soon be receiving an invite to Launch Night 2016. At a new venue, with the brand new car and the team’s most ambitious but exciting future laid out to all of you, this will certainly be an event not to miss. To everyone that supports us, large and small, thank you for everything. We would not be in this position without you and look forward to showing how your contributions are changing students’ lives for the better, and shaping the team for years to come.


Jamie Morton
2016 Project Manager

Engineering Manager’s News

As winter finally departs, substantial changes have occurred to the AUMT’s car since our last newsletter in July. ADL-15 is no more and our team’s 2016 Formula SAE Australasia contender, ADL-16, has started to come together.
A wide range of components have been manufactured or are currently in production ready to be fitted to ADL-16, including a new aerodynamic package and bodywork, a promising paddleshift mechanism, an improved pedal box, and a new air intake for the engine. Whilst I don’t have space to list all of our projects here, I would like to pass on my thanks to all the AUMT members and valuable sponsors who have helped to bring these components into existence.
One noteworthy ongoing project is our team’s aerodynamic package. This is now starting to resemble the finished product, thanks to the continued efforts of Aerodynamic Team leaders Aidan Scanlon, Ryan Schulz, and Tim Engel, and their array of helpers. Pictured below are various patterns for the bodywork, side pods and wings, from which moulds and ultimately final products are currently being made.

Of course this would not be possible without the help of our valued sponsors. In particular, our thanks goes to Centre Line Patterns, for supplying all of the 3D CNC-machined foam patterns pictured above. Centre Line Patterns is a family owned and operated business which provides a wide range of modelling and machining services. The AUMT has highly valued being able to rely on Centre Line Services for their consistent, professional, and high quality work over the last few years. To Marc Grunwald and his team, thank you for all of your support!
The past fortnight has also seen the completion of our team’s Cost and Design reports for 2016. Formula SAE is a unique motorsport category, with a lot more to the competition than just producing a fast race car. Many of our team members have learned valuable report writing skills over recent weeks, which will no doubt enhance their future career prospects.
On this note, I would like to remind all of our sponsors as to what your support means. Not only do you provide us with valuable funds, equipment or services, but you also enable proactive university students to better themselves. Proof of this lies in the fact that over recent weeks, several of our team members have successfully applied for exciting work experience opportunities locally, interstate and overseas.
Please enjoy what remains of 2016. I look forward to seeing you at our team’s Launch Night on November 24th. As a taster, below is a portion of what to expect from ADL-16 come later this year.

Remember, only 55 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2016…

Kailin Sullivan
Engineering Manager

Business Team News

With competition approaching ever faster, the business team has been hard at work securing materials, tools, and funds for those final challenges and surprises that tend to arise before December. Recently, this has lead us to create a GoFundMe campaign for donations up to $500, a first for the AUMT.

The campaign, which can be viewed here, has surprised and humbled us with the generosity of our family, friends, university colleagues, AUMT alumni, and wider community. The importance of these one-off donations should not be understated, as the money raised through GoFundMe has already allowed us to take crucial steps towards competition which may not have been possible otherwise.

However, supporting the progress of the team has not been the only recompense for our GoFundMe sponsors – We have also arranged an exciting variety of rewards across the different levels of donations, including official AUMT stickers, an exclusive High Definition Photo Package of ADL-15 (a taste of which is pictured below), and more. The full list of reward levels can be viewed on the GoFundMe page, linked below.


If you are also interested in helping the AUMT overcome the challenges of the last few weeks of preparing for competition, or if you’d simply like to get your hands on some exciting AUMT merchandise, please visit the link at:

Clare Nolan
Public Relations Manager

Quarterly Newsletter – July 2016

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends, welcome to the third instalment of the Adelaide University Motorsport Team’s quarterly newsletter for 2016. Having passed the half-way mark towards competition, the team is working harder than ever to prepare ADL-16. Finally seeing ADL-15 running on track for testing has given the team a much-needed boost to keep working!

For more team news and updates, please visit our social media pages, which are linked below. We hope you have been well. 

Kind regards,
Clare Nolan
2016 Business Editor

Engineering Manager’s News

Welcome back, my name is Kailin Sullivan, I am the Engineering Manager for the Adelaide University Motorsport Team and this is my quarterly news update.  

Where has the first half of the year gone?! It is now nearly the end of July and AUMT has made solid progress towards the design and manufacture of our 2016 Formula SAE Australasia contender, ADL-16.  

Headlining our recent engineering efforts is the return of the team’s 2015 car, ADL-15, to the test track. This has provided us with the chance to bed in our recently rebuilt Yamaha YZF-R6 engine and give new drivers some valuable seat time within the car.  

Before ADL-15 hit the track, we were treated to two engine dynamometer sessions and an engine tuning seminar at the Regency Park TAFE campus, courtesy of Lecturer Jamie Campbell. I’d like to pass on my thanks to Jamie; not only did you allow us to use your immaculate facilities, but you also provided us with valuable technical expertise and assistance.   

I am pleased to say that the engine rebuild has been a success. The motor is developing more power than before, running more reliably and has attracted positive comments from many of the car’s recent drivers. It even has considerably more tuning potential yet, offering further performance! 

It has been genuinely satisfying to see the car back on track again, as well as seeing some deserving new team members have their first drive. Some of their reactions when exiting the car were priceless! To these people, welcome properly to the team and please keep chipping away; now you see where all your effort and the support of our generous sponsors is directed. At our latest test day, we were also accompanied by selected members of Flinders Motorsport. It was a pleasure to share some track time, stories and advice with those from Flinders University’s fledgling Formula SAE team, who we hope to see in competition in December. 

In other news, the past week has seen the completion of design work towards the majority of the team’s engineering projects for 2016. We are now manufacturing a host of components, including the chassis, paddleshift, aerodynamic package, air intake, seat and firewall – the list goes on! This is where are number of our valued sponsors come into play, including Nuplex Composites (composite materials), BASF (paint and other supplies) and LASER 3D (laser cutting and metal materials) just to name a few. Thank you to all our sponsors, no matter how you contribute towards the team, for your support.  

I look forward to speaking to you next time, by which point we should be nearing the complete construction of ADL-16. Remember, only 132 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2016… 

Kailin Sullivan
Engineering Manager

Business Manager’s News

The first semester has been and gone and competition is now fast approaching. The business team is hard at work organising upcoming events (including launch night!), finalising ADL-16’s livery, and working on the documents and presentations required at competition.

However, our hard work has not left our community responsibilities neglected: Last semester, team members and the team vehicle, as well as some members from the University of Adelaide Motorsport Club, organised a BBQ on campus to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis Australia. The event was very successful, raising over $200. The team and club plan to co-host another event towards the end of the year, again raising money for a charity.

We have also been working on updating the website to better utilize this space, and will be pushing the changes to the website very soon. This will include updated events, pictures, and more information on our valued sponsors.

Finally, I would like to welcome our newest supporter, the Sporting Car Club of South Australia. I look forward to developing the relationship between our clubs and bringing some great events and opportunities to life.

Scott Adamson
Business Manager

Engineering News: A student engineer’s holiday homework

In spite of the university break, the Holden Labs have certainly been a hive of activity in the last few weeks!  In between testing on track, work on the new aerodynamics package, and the ADL-15 teardown, we have also managed to make great progress on finalising new parts and designs for ADL-16.

The teardown of ADL-15 was recently completed, and certainly proved the proverb ‘many hands made light work’! The process also provided a unique opportunity for new members to see the inner workings and parts of the car not usually on display.

Work has also progressed rapidly on our new aero package. We still have many hours to go on bringing our moulds to a polished surface, ready for the composite layup.

By the next update we aim to have ADL-16 running on track and getting competition-ready, so stay tuned for exciting updates!

Calum MacDougall
Student Engineer

Quarterly Newsletter – May 2016

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends, welcome to the second instalment of the Adelaide University Motorsport Team’s quarterly newsletter for 2016. This second issue includes an update from Project Manager Jamie Morton, an engineering update including our recent success with the engine, an overview of the car’s paddle shift design, as well as a community involvement highlight at RAA Street Smart High.

For more team news and updates, please visit our social media pages and websites (links below). We hope that 2016 is progressing well for you.

Kind regards,
Clare Nolan
2016 Business Editor

Project Manager’s Update

To our Sponsors, Supporters, Family and Friends,

2016 is shaping up to be another challenging year, but a more successful one for the team. After two years of reliability issues, the team has decided to move our focus away from outright performance and towards car reliability and knowledge transfer. This change in direction has necessitated some tough decisions in an effort to improve the overall performance of the business and engineering teams, and to limit risks, in order to ultimately build the foundations for a strong performance at competition in 2016 and 2017.

Our most difficult decision to date has been in regards to our new chassis. With a new suspension configuration, strategically-placed weight for a lower centre of gravity, and overall size and weight reductions, our new chassis and suspension concepts are a significant step in improving outright performance. However, using a new chassis also introduces an element of risk of unknown factors and issues; combined with a lack of sufficient testing time and our emphasis on reliability over performance, these risks were deemed too significant for the team to take in 2016.
Thus, the team has turned its focus onto remanufacturing the current chassis, with a few performance tweaks. As well as allowing us to take a reliable package to competition, this also allows more time to be spent on the design and integration of other systems for the new chassis, and on incorporating new team members to promote knowledge and skills transfer. Additionally, manufacture of the new chassis can begin in January 2017, allowing more time to fully optimise the new car for the 2017 competition.

Nevertheless, there is much to look forward to in ADL-16, including, but not limited to:

  • A new aerodynamic package incorporating 3D elements;
  • A pneumatic paddle shift control system and ignition cut, to improve overall car speed;
  • A new electrical loom;
  • Improved driver ergonomics;
  • And a focus on car set-up and validation.

With the engine also being successfully fully rebuilt and a lot more time dedicated to testing, car set-up, and driver training, the team is in a strong position to challenge the top 10 in 2016.

Behind the scenes, the team’s structure and personnel is also being improved considerably in 2016. Although the end of the 2014/15 season meant the AUMT had to say goodbye to a lot of experience and knowledge, this gap has already been filled with over 20 new members spanning from engineering, science, business and media, from a range of levels. While this does mean our management teams are very young in respect to both the team and their degrees, their enthusiasm and passion has helped them step up to the challenge and bring new ideas to the table. With so many new members, the business team has been able to double in size, a much needed boost which already is producing results with new sponsorship announcements to be made soon. With a much bigger focus on the teams longevity and ensuring the documentation and resources are there for years to come, there are many exciting changes on the way that we look forward to sharing with you as the team progresses.

On behalf of all the team, I thank you for your time, patience, and most importantly, your support. We look forward to having you on this journey with us and wish you all the best in your endeavours in a quickly disappearing 2016!

Kind regards
Jamie Morton
2015/16 Project Manager

Community Involvement – RAA Street Smart High

The AUMT was pleased to be invited to this year’s RAA Street Smart High, an event held by the RAA to promote road-safety awareness among young people. ADL-15 was displayed at the entrance to the Entertainment Centre, where our team members had the opportunity to talk to high-school students and teachers from all over South Australia about our project.

The event is heavily focused on education and featured a range of engaging and informative presentations, including several heartbreaking stories from people who have either been involved in a road accident, and a discussion on organ donation by Dr Stewart Moodle from DonateLife SA. A particularly engaging segment was the crash scene scenario narrated by Dr Bill Griggs of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Trauma unit, which demonstrated the horrific reality of a crash and the different ways it can affect people, both directly and indirectly.

During the lunchbreak the team engaged with the students and teachers, explaining what Formula SAE is to those who did not already know, and what the AUMT does throughout the year. We also allowed students to sit in the car and have their picture taken if they wanted. Although most students did not know much about FSAE, they were impressed to realise that our project is entirely student-run, and one student even expressed that she would love to go to university, just so she could get involved with Formula SAE!

The AUMT would like to thank RAA for holding this fantastic event and allowing us to be a part of it again. For more information on Street Smart High, please click through on the link here.

Helen Wilson
Engineering Team Management

Engineering Manager’s News

Since our last newsletter, a lot of water has passed under the team’s bridge. The university year is in full swing and the team has made considerable progress on several engineering projects.
Atop the list is the rebuild of our car’s Yamaha YZF-R6 engine, shown below, which is now all but complete. Sporting a new crankcase, crankshaft, pistons and rings, connecting rods, bearings, gaskets and seals, the motor has received a substantial freshen up, not seen often by the team. The engine is now back in the car, connected to all ancillary components, running and ready to hit the dynamometer for a power reading and solid tune.

Although it took its fair share of time, the engine rebuild has been invaluable to the team. First and foremost, it is set to restore considerable reliability and power to the motor, while also providing many team members with a rare opportunity to get hands on and come to appreciate the workings and tolerances involved in such a complex piece of equipment.
At this point I would like to send a special mention to Rob Dempster, Scott Letton and Steven Smith from the Mechanical Engineering workshop at the university; your assistance, lending of tools and a space to work in, numerous late nights and laughs shared with all of us are greatly appreciated!

Please click here to check out a time lapse video of the engine rebuild!

Our new aerodynamic package for 2016 is well on the way to being finalised. Courtesy of Nat Shearer, Ryan Schulz and Tim Engel, the foam cores and moulds for all wing elements are now complete and being sent off to our sponsors ready to be produced.
Nat, Ryan and Tim have also nearly finished the bodywork for the car. They have been joined by two new team members for 2016, Aidan Scanlon and Leon Immelman, who are designing the side pods to attach to the sides of the chassis. It is rewarding to not only see the progress of Nat, Ryan and Tim, but now their passion for helping out Aidan and Leon as well.
With nearly two thirds of Semester 1 gone, the year is really starting to fly past! By the next time I speak to you, the bulk of our major projects for 2016 will (hopefully!) be fully designed and well into being manufactured. To finish off, I will quickly say thanks to all of the new team members who have taken on a project. Although your projects might not be as big, everything from the fuel filler to the muffler is important to the car and team in some way.
Remember, only 208 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2016!

Kailin Sullivan
Engineering Manager

Engineering Project: Paddle Shift Design

My name is Matthew Howe and I am currently working alongside Nima Namjouyan and Jonathan Stephens on a design for an electronic gear shifter with flappy paddles. It is an exciting project, as we are employing a method for gear-shifting which has not previously been used by the team.

In approaching the design, we aimed to both significantly reduce the time required for a gear shift and to allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel. This would have the potential to greatly improve lap times at competition.

This radically different approach to past gear shifters has allowed us to work from a clean slate, and two different systems will be tested for the final design. After five weeks of intense research and preliminary design into both systems, we have created solutions which fulfil all of our requirements, and are moving onto the final stages of Computer Aided Design and prototype testing for each system.

The first system uses an electrically driven linear actuator, which has the advantage of being powered directly from the on-board battery. The second is a pneumatic device, which allows the use of paintball parts, which are designed to be extremely lightweight but safe to use.


After the team has developed a working prototype and chosen a final design, it will be fitted to ADL-16 for testing and optimization. We anticipate that our design will allow the gear shift times to be shorter and more controlled, which may give us an edge in what we are expecting to be a tight competition this December.

Matthew Howe
Design Team Member