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!
2016 Business Editor
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!
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.
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.