The car on the track. Photo: Jacob D’Aoust / Provided
FORMULA UOTTAWA TELLS UPCOMING RACE, PICTURE DESIGN AND THE FUTURE OF THE CLUB
On October 2, 2021, the U of O Formula One team participated in the 2021 Shootout Race, hosted by the University of Toronto at Cambridge, Ont. The race is usually held internationally, with teams invited from both Canada and the USA. Due to COVID-19, only Canadian racing teams were present this year. Shootout is a friendly event and is usually not approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
In an interview with Fulcrum, Ibrahim Chohan and Armin Teymouri, fourth-year mechanical engineering students and formal uOttawa team, explained the event and their expectations of the team.
“It’s not like a Formula 1 race: we do not drive wheel to wheel. They shift the launches at 30-second intervals and they wait until you are a safe distance apart until they start the next team. To score, they take the average time between your drivers. ”
Both Chohan and Teymouri said before the race that they expected to finish the mid-pack due to the fact that the car has not been driven for more than a year and a half. “The car was disassembled in 2020 before COVID-19, and we did not expect that we would ever use that car again. So I imagine one or two things will break and we are not going to do that well. But the only reason we go to the shootout in the first place is to get new members excited. ”
In an email after the day of their race, Chohan wrote, “we did not reach the top three, but the rest of the rankings have not been published yet. All in all, we did as well as we had expected, if not better. ”
In 2019, the team finished in 9th place with an average time of 46.2 seconds.
Asked about the motives behind the creation of the formula team, Teymouri replied: “I think most engineering students who graduate from school realize that it does not give you any practical experience. It does not set you up well for any design experience at all, which is why there are internships and clubs like this. ”
“One of the biggest things when it comes to the car, and our motivation with it, is at the end of the day, this is for every student. This is the greatest opportunity for them to build a full-fledged product that you can actually use and run, ”added Chohan.
Currently, the formula team is working on reorganizing and restructuring the team dynamics. Currently, Formula uOttawa is dominated by senior engineering students, but as Teymouri explains, “we are trying to get many of the newer people to pick up speed as fast as we can. So we delegate many responsibilities to people who are either new members or joined the team last year. ”
In terms of team structure, “we have the overall club, which means that a lot of new people come on the team. People who just want to be part of the team and see what’s going on. Then there are the team, they are the ones trying to get involved in design projects working on different projects. Next is the core team, to which we assign critical projects and systems. Finally, there are leaders who know enough to delegate or manage their own system, ”Chohan said
The idea behind this inner team and outer team system is hopefully to incorporate workshops led by the inner team into general club and team members. The workshops will seek to involve the students even if they have not worked directly with the car, while providing the necessary tools to contribute to the team in a meaningful way once they have completed the internal team (core team).
This year for formula in addition to team structuring, they produce and design a new car. This will involve many days and nights working in the store, going out to test the car and making sure all the major components and sub-components are working properly.
One goal for the formula team has been to conduct an endurance test, which involves running for 45 minutes in a row alternating drivers halfway. The team has never been able to complete one. This year, however, team leaders are confident in their ability to succeed.
In addition to competing, the formula team plans to hold social events and workshops on vehicle dynamics and engineering-related topics. In the future, the formula team will work on designing, manufacturing and testing their new car to be used in Formula SAE competitions.
For more information on Formula uOttawa, visit their website here.