MSOE Defending Champs Return with Brand New Build

Defending champs from last year’s Formula Hybrid competition, the Mozee Motorsports team from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, went back to the drawing board to build this year’s parallel hybrid, says faculty advisor Dr. Matthew Schaefer.

“It was just time to start over from scratch,” says Schaefer, who is back in Loudon this week for his fifth time at the competition, fourth as the team’s adviser. Only the tires and steering wheel are returning from last year’s car, he says.

What’s the biggest difference this year? “Power,” says Schaefer. The upgraded power train has double the power of the previous incarnation. The car’s lightweight and durable SwissAuto 250 engine, donated to the team by Polaris, enables a quick acceleration from 15 to about 62 mph, based on testing, Schaefer says.

“The max speed is in the same ballpark (as last year’s car),” Schaefer says, “but we should be able to get there a lot faster,” which the team hopes will help them in the acceleration event.

MSOE team

l to r: Harry Snyder, Joe Greuel, RJ Arlt, Kevin Pezzopane, Bailey Menarek, Alex Banse, Dr. Matt Schaefer, and Chandler Smith work on the car from MSOE.

The car features a unique octagonal frame design that incorporates the side pods where the batteries are stored.

“By using those as part of the frame, the rectangular frame doesn’t have to be quite as stiff because those side pods are doing some of the work,” Schaefer explains.

As a result, however, the team encountered a tight space that made suspension design more challenging.

Sophomore Harry Snyder was responsible for steering and building the pedal box, as well as managing the team’s finances. “Having some say over what the seniors get to do is kinda fun,” he says, smirking.

Thanks to his experience on the Formula Hybrid team, Snyder snagged an internship at Hayes Brake Company. “Getting experience is a big part of it,” he says, “and also making friends.”

Schaefer says the team’s organizational structure resembles an automotive company, with the club acting as decision-maker while the seniors working on design projects make up the R&D arm. This keeps students from all levels involved from year-to-year, he says.

“How often do you have students at every grade level working together on the same project?”