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

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.



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.