UOW tears up the track at SAE event
A team of UOW students are revved up with excitement after taking out third place at this year’s Formula SAE race held recently in Werribee, Victoria.
Their sleek, elegant racer (affectionately known as Leila), was crafted by students from the Faculties of Engineering, Law, Commerce and Computer Science for the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) annual contest, an event which has seen UOW place within the top contending national and international teams for the last 12 years.
UOW FSAE Team principal Christopher Doumbos said the group were ‘extremely happy’ with the result as were glad to have UOW back on the podium for the first time since 2009.
“Leila is a mix of previous UOW racers. We spent a lot of time looking at the good and bad aspects of past cars and implemented the good with our own new ideas,” he said.
While Leila did encounter some obstacles such as a hub failure, which saw a wheel fly off at a competition, the team were able to adapt the design and power through to place in the final endurance event.
Mr Doumbos said the team were already planning their racer for 2013 and had identified areas of the car which could be improved to bring its lap times down even further.
“The 2013 team, led by Nathan Tarlinton, has already started design with a goal for early completion to ensure that tests are able to be run well before the racer needs to be complete,” he said.
Mr Doumbos said the team was open to members from all faculties and that there were plenty of tasks beyond engineering the car to be assigned.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to learn to work in a team, think critically, meet budgets and deadlines, comply to management structures and create friendships that will last well into the future,” he said.
“Ultimately, students involved in FSAE walk into a job as confident, capable and efficient employees. It is a project which is highly regarded by employers around the globe.”
Mr Doumbos explained that each university is required to have five student drivers for the FSAE competition. Drivers are selected through the team’s driver training program and are sent to relevant programs to further enhance their skills behind the wheel.
“The atmosphere at the track on race day is amazing. You are surrounded by over 20 teams from around the country who are all trying to achieve the same result,” he said.
“We are very proud of what the team have achieved so far and cannot wait to compete again in 2013.”
Mr Doumbos also thanked the team’s sponsors Joy Global, Sydney Business School, Bluescope Steel and the University.
“We wouldn’t have been able to come so far without them,” he said.