Quarterly Newsletter – March 2016

Sponsors, supporters, family and friends, welcome to the first installment of the Adelaide University Motorsport Team’s quarterly newsletter for 2016. This first issue includes an introduction to this year’s goals from our new Engineering and Business Managers, as well as an overview of the ongoing chassis design from one of our student engineers.

As well as quarterly issues, we are planning for shorter highlight articles throughout the year, and regular updates on our social media and websites to help keep you updated and informed of AUMT’s progress. We hope you have been well and wish you luck for 2016!

Kind regards,
Clare Nolan
2016 Business Editor


Engineering Manager’s News

 
Hello, my name is Kailin Sullivan and I am the newly elected Engineering Manager for the Adelaide University Motorsport Team. I am proud to say that my involvement within the team has grown immensely since I joined in 2015; it is staggering how quickly a year passes by! After designing my first parts for the team’s car, the impact attenuator and oil tank, I found myself joining the Project Management group in mid-2015, then relishing Formula SAE Australasia in Melbourne last December, prior to being appointed Engineering Manager just before the start of 2016. In my current role, I am in charge of ensuring that all new engineering projects are completed on time and on budget, placing me in an ideal position to update you on some interesting developments within the team.
 
Although the car has not been on track since competing last December, it has still been the subject of considerable activity. The team has removed and completely torn down the car’s Yamaha YZF-R6 engine in a quest to achieve better performance and reliability. At this stage, the team is likely to rebuild the engine during late March, replacing or machining critical parts such as the crankshaft, connecting rods and associated bearings. Not only is this ongoing task providing the engine with a well-earned freshen up, but it is also giving our team members, new and old, with a rare chance to diagnose, reconstruct, and fine-tune a piece of equipment with such fine tolerances.
 
Another project currently evolving is the team’s aerodynamic package for 2016. Being enthusiastically designed by three newer team members, Nat Shearer, Ryan Schulz, and Tim Engel, this project has progressed rapidly since early January this year. Nat, Ryan and Tim intend to have a complete package designed and partly evaluated with a CFD (Computational Flow Dynamics) analysis by mid-semester break. A sneak peak of their work, including three-dimensional wing elements, is pictured below.

Credit must also be given to our team’s Technical Director, Matt Forrest, who is finalising the last iteration of the team’s new chassis for 2016. Matt intends to produce a leaner, more extensively thought out chassis design this year, featuring simplified suspension mounted lower on the frame in order to lower the car’s centre of gravity, the removal of the rear bulkhead, and enhanced load paths through frame members. Pleasingly, Matt’s work has satisfied the team so far and is on schedule, with only minor alterations made following feedback during the team’s recent Chassis Review Meeting.
 
Add approximately twenty other projects to a list of those in progress, including a paddle shift design, new wiring loom, driver ergonomics enhancements and an updated air intake, and one can see just how busy the team’s student engineers are. As always, our spare time is scarce, but there is plenty of fun, experimenting and learning to come in the upcoming months. After all, only 265 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2016!

Kailin Sullivan
Engineering Manager


Engineering Project: Chassis Design

Hello, my name is Calum MacDougall, and throughout 2016 I will be assisting the AUMT’s Project Leader, Jamie Morton. So far this year my role has been to design the jig which will be used to fabricate our chassis for the 2016 season. Having developed the chassis for ADL-16 over the summer break, the team is excited to soon begin construction of the new design, pictured below.

The new chassis will be significantly lighter than ADL-15, with a number of other improvements to lower the centre of mass and reduce the frontal cross-section of the car. The chassis has also been designed around a new aerodynamics package, which includes three dimensional wing elements, and a CFD verified underbody and diffuser.

ADL-16 represents the most comprehensive integration of the chassis design with the aerodynamics package in the team’s history. All of the front suspension linkages have been redesigned, and the shocks and coils have been moved from their internal position above the driver’s legs to an external position, reducing the weight and lowering the centre of mass of the car, in order to improve handling. This has been done without compromising the excellent suspension adjustability of ADL-15, a proud talking point of the previous design.

From lessons learned in previous years, and a healthy dose of new ideas and innovation, ADL-16 is looking to be an exciting and competitive race car.

Calum MacDougall
Student Engineer


Business Manager’s News

As Business Manager for 2016, I am very excited about the future of the AUMT. This year, I plan to advance the team by looking for new areas of support and pursuing new opportunities to give back to the community that already supports us, from educating high-school students to promoting businesses and supporting charities.
 
To kick off our community involvement for the year, the team was delighted to invite clients from MS Australia and the Leukemia Foundation to join us at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Despite the weather varying from extreme heat to mild storms, the event was enjoyed by all. Karen and Steve from MS Australia joined us on Friday for their first ever day at the Clipsal! They enjoyed spending time with the team, with Karen pictured behind the wheel below, as well as watching the races.

Another focus this year will be on the team itself and our members. Our team members are our greatest asset, and accordingly I plan to create opportunities for everyone to develop a more holistic understanding of the process of building the car – not only the mechanics behind it, but also involving them with the sponsorship aspects, and arranging supplier factory and facility tours. The team is also currently processing over 60 new member applications for the 2016 season, with students coming not only from engineering but other areas as diverse as commerce, law, media, and psychology.
 
While I believe 2016 will be a difficult year, the challenges to come will give us opportunities to apply ourselves professionally and thus improve our team, with rewarding outcomes for our individual team members and our sponsors as a result.

Scott Adamson
Business Manager

December 2015 Update

To our family and friends, sponsors and supporters

2015 has been an amazing year. The challenges the team has faced and overcome would not have been achieved without the support of so many, and for that we are forever grateful. With your support, not only have we made it to competition, but the team is now well equipped to deal with new challenges in 2016. Below is a summary of the 2015 competition and also a brief introduction on what to expect for 2016. With some new faces added to the management team, and some old ones too, the team is poised to make a bigger impact in 2016 at competition, and also within the community and sponsors that support us.

On behalf of the team, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Kind Regards,
Jamie Morton

Displaying 2015 Comp Team Photo.jpgDisplaying 2015 Comp Team Photo.jpg

The AUMT at FSAE-A 2015

The AUMT at FSAE-A 2015

2015 Competition Report

The 2016 Formula S.A.E. Australasia competition at Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne just under a fortnight ago was hotly contested by over 28 teams, including international teams from New Zealand, Japan, India and the United States of America. Arriving at Calder Park Raceway on Thursday (10th December), ADL-15 passed through tech inspection on the first attempt late Thursday afternoon, which is a first for the team since 2008. This lead to the team passing all forms of tech inspection (tilt table, brake and noise) all before our scheduled tech inspection time late Friday afternoon. This was a massive achievement and put us in a great position for the upcoming dynamic events. While all this was going on, a combination of our experienced senior members along with some first year students tackled the static events of design, cost, and business presentation. We achieved consistent results within the top 15 for each of these events, gaining us solid points to challenge the top 10 during the dynamic stages.

 

Saturday morning was the beginning of Race Day, with acceleration and skid pan up first and autocross (one lap dash) in the afternoon. Initially, minor electrical issues halted our progress however with preparation before the event and spares on hand, the electrical team was able to identify and fix the issues quickly and efficiently, reducing the downtime of the car to less than an hour when it could have easily been over two hours lost. With times set in acceleration and skid pan to bank points, the team spent the last hour of these events fine tuning the car setup to get quickest times possible. Unfortunately, acceleration results confirmed that our Yamaha engine was struggling for power, with its age starting to show. Nevertheless, the team and car pushed hard where many teams struggled to make the event at all, achieving a competitive time despite our power issues. Again, the team banked solid points, finishing just outside the top 10 to remain within striking distance of an overall top 10 finish.

Autocross was soon upon us, with one of the longest tracks in recent history of the competition on offer with a combination of incredibly fast sweeper sections and very slow technical areas to push our cars and drivers to their limits.  With nervous excitement, our drivers took the challenge head on. Sadly, this time our battery failed and the car came to a halt after just 5 completed runs on the track. Once the car had been retrieved, the team charged the battery as much as possible to get the car back out for the second session, but unfortunately she only managed only half a lap before sitting on the side lines. The points gained from autocross still meant we had a chance of getting into the top 10 and as the drivers only had a chance to scratch the surface of the car’s potential speed, the team still had high hopes for a strong endurance campaign.

With fully charged batteries and some tests to monitor and check the health of the car early Sunday morning, the team took to the track for the first endurance run. With just the second lap, our driver improved our best time by over 10 seconds, reducing the gap greatly to the front running teams in terms of overall pace. However, again the car came to halt but this time we  were able to quickly rule out battery and other issues with the team’s own live wireless telemetry system. This potentially meant we had terminal engine issues, but the senior members stood up when we needed them most and planned out a process for troubleshooting this issue and once the car was back executed it perfectly.

The issues turned out to be a problem with the material inside the exhaust causing it to become blocked and resulted in choking the engine. With very little time between endurance runs, the exhaust was repacked and re-installed on the car, as well as many other parts of the car that had been disassembled to troubleshoot the issue. Getting back to the event before we were scheduled was a great achievement for the team, giving us one last shot to make it through endurance. Despite all our hard work and preparation, the battery once again let us down and we sadly only managed one lap before ADL-15 had to sit the rest of the endurance event out.

As endurance and economy make up 42.5% of the overall points on offer, the team fell down the order to finish 17th overall. We were not the only ones to struggle, with the competition leaders before endurance Edith Cowan University also failing to complete an endurance run. Only 13 teams finished endurance this year, with us being 4th out of the teams who did not finish. While the end was not kind, the team was in high spirits, with the efforts of many ensuring we attempted every event, got through tech inspection first go and quickly solved many issues that could have benched the car for the weekend. The car looked great and team represented themselves very professionally over the weekend. Some of our members also volunteered for S.A.E. over the weekend to help the event run smoothly. Overall, the knowledge and experience we have gained, the new friends we have made and renewed determination and knowing that we can challenge these top teams has us all excited for 2016.

 

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2016 Introduction

2015 was challenging. Moving off campus but taking full control of the team meant the odds were not in our favour, with many new things needing to be learned and the challenge of recruitment now far harder with the car off campus. But to the team’s credit, we bounced back and not only made it to competition with a car to be proud of, but gave ourselves every opportunity to compete. With so much learned and many foundations put in place, the team has found its footing and is in a strong position to regroup and push hard for a top 5 position in the 2016 competition. But it is not just the competition that we are ready to step up in.

With solid foundations and stability now with the team, our focus and goals have expanded from surviving and getting to competition, to increasing our involvement with our community and sponsors. Our new website is close to being launched, with pages for our sponsors and partners own content being planned and implemented over the next few months. We are also looking to increase our community involvement with more volunteering at events, as well as our own involvement with Adelaide University Sport Association and campus events.

The team is also looking to expand and diversify further, with targeted promotion towards business, marketing, media and design students to build a strong business team to rival the engineering team, as well as expand and strengthen numbers into other engineering disciplines including computer science and electrical. As always, the team still proudly promotes that you do not have to be an engineer or business student to join us, you just have to have some passion for doing something more and the willingness to learn new things.

This is not to say 2016 will not be challenging. Needing a new engine, a new battery and building a new chassis will require the team to rocket out of the gates in 2016 and keep momentum throughout the year. However, renewed determination brought on from our competition results and knowing that we can achieve more and that we are capable of challenging those with bigger budgets sets up an incredibly exciting year for the Adelaide University Motorsport Team.

We look forward to catching up with you all in early 2016, and wish you all the best in your own endeavours. We hope you have a safe but enjoyable holiday break, and cannot wait to show you all what we can do.

Best wishes.
AUMT Management Team.