April 23, 2019 (Loudon, New Hampshire) – Hundreds of the world’s top engineering students are expected to arrive at Dartmouth’s one-of-a-kind Formula Hybrid Competition when it starts April 29, ready to put to the test the earth-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles they designed and built over the last 10 months.
This year’s 20 teams hail from Canada, India and across the U.S. Their eight hybrid and 12 electric vehicles will need to pass numerous technical and safety inspections in order to make it on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway track where the event will be held through May 2.
Many top engineering students engage in this technical competition because they want to collaborate with a team to build something highly complex and important not only to them but to the future of the world.
“Participating in Formula Hybrid specifically is like a vote for a more sustainable future,” says Annika Garbers, the chief mechanical engineer for the all-female Rochester Institute of Technology team Hot Wheelz. “When we design our car to perform well with sustainability in mind, it’s 1) educating the next generation of engineers to be prepared to work on hybrid and electric technology in the automotive industry, and 2) proving that electric and hybrid vehicles can perform as well as and better than traditional IC [internal combustion] cars.”
Similar to the Formula SAE® competition, students compete in aspects of design, acceleration, handling, and endurance of their vehicle while abiding by rules that minimize risk and preserve students’ freedom to innovate. At Formula Hybrid, they also have to optimize energy efficiency and incorporate sustainable materials when building their vehicles.
“We are the only hybrid competition of its kind,” said Douglas Fraser, founder of Formula Hybrid and senior research engineer and laboratory instructor at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, which runs the event. “There are competitions that look a lot like ours, but those vehicles are gasoline powered or powered entirely by electric. We are the only competition that combines the two, with gasoline engine on one side and electric power on the other. Blending the output can be done any number of ways. Students have to work together and decide which system gets to do what. It’s pretty tricky.”
As a result, Formula Hybrid is the only competition that requires a unique collaboration between mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and computer scientists in the planning and building of their cars.
For outside spectators, Wed. May 1 is the “most fun-filled” day to visit, according to Jessica Kinzie, the competition’s coordinating manager. The autocross and acceleration events run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It’s also Formula Hybrid School Day for middle and high school students who enjoy guided tours with volunteers from the SCCA New England Section and other knowledgeable experts. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit the competition website.
About Formula Hybrid
Similar to Formula SAE®, students compete in aspects of design, acceleration, handling, and endurance of their vehicle and abide by a list of rules that focus on minimizing risk while preserving students’ freedom to innovate. Formula Hybrid teams, however, are faced with the additional challenge of optimizing both energy efficiency and sustainability of materials used in their cars. Founded by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, Formula Hybrid has been awarded one of the most coveted prizes in engineering education, the ABET Innovation Award.
Competition sponsors include LG Chem Power, FCA, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, Intralinks, Toyota, General Motors, SAE International, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the New England Region Sports Car Club of America, BAE Systems, Solidworks, and AVL. See full list of sponsors.
About Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth prepares leaders for a technology-driven world while solving pressing, real-world problems through research and entrepreneurship. Consistently ranked among the top colleges and universities for its commitment to teaching, Dartmouth is the first national research university to graduate a majority-female class of undergraduate engineers. For more information, please visit https://engineering.dartmouth.edu.