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Dartmouth’s Formula Hybrid Wins Coveted Award

Recognized by ABET for Innovations in Engineering & Design Education

Formula Hybrid has been awarded one of the most coveted prizes in engineering education, the ABET Innovation Award.

Launched by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth in 2007, the annual competition challenges teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students to collaboratively design and construct a fuel-efficient hybrid or an electric-only vehicle. Student teams work throughout the academic year to plan, design and build their cars before bringing them to the four-day competition in May at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Formula Hybrid will receive the award at the 2018 ABET Awards Gala in November.

More than 3,500 students from 80 colleges and universities (54 domestic and 26 international) have participated in Formula Hybrid since it began. For many students, Formula Hybrid is their first experience collaborating across disciplines, from computer science to mechanical and electrical engineering. As a result of the competition, a number of institutions have developed Formula-Hybrid specific curricula to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. The competition is part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series and is regarded as one of its most complex and dynamic.

As they compete in aspects of vehicle design, acceleration, handling, energy efficiency and endurance, teams demonstrate their creativity and engineering skills.  Each year more than 100 volunteers, including engineering professionals from sponsors such as Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, LG Chem, BAE Systems, IEEE, SAE International and Toyota, support the students as mentors and judges. After watching students in action, many of the sponsors go on to offer internships and jobs to Formula Hybrid participants.

Dartmouth’s Formula Hybrid Competition was selected “because of its broad and sustained impact in innovative energy-efficient design experiences that enhance the 21st century skills of students in ABET-accredited programs,” said Steven Cramer, PhD., PE, Chair of the ABET Innovation Award Subcommittee and Vice-Provost for Teaching and Learning and Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We’re thrilled that Formula Hybrid has been recognized for its inventive and effective approach to educating students beyond the classroom,” said Douglas Fraser, Founding Director of the Formula Hybrid Competition and Senior Research Engineer for Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. “We are also thrilled that so many students commit so much time to the competition, because it means they’re engaged and learning skills they’ll use for a lifetime.”

Formula Hybrid Infographic: Why Engineers Win at Formula Hybrid

Results Video and Photos

Watch the 2018 Formula Hybrid results in video form! Or browse the photo set linked below. See also the official results news release.

Formula Hybrid 2018

Dartmouth & Georgia Tech Take First Place at Formula Hybrid Competition

For the first time in 12 years of competition, Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) completed all events at Formula Hybrid including being the only car this year to finish all 44 laps of the Endurance Event. DFR also took first in the hybrid category for Engineering Design, Acceleration, and Autocross. The HyTech Racing team from Georgia Tech secured a first place finish in the electric category with high scores in Project Management, Design, and the Endurance Event.

Held from April 30–May 3 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, the competition drew 23 teams from across the US, as well as Canada, India and Turkey. During those four days, the undergraduate and graduate engineering student teams, along with the high-performance hybrid and electric race cars they built, endured all kinds of weather—wintery cold, spring rain, summer heat, and even a few thunderstorms.

Founded and run by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth and similar to Formula SAE®, Formula Hybrid requires teams to adhere to strict safety standards but leaves them free to innovate on everything from the car’s frame to its powertrain.

With their car weighing in at 672 pounds—almost 200 pounds lighter than last year—DFR drivers Leina McDermott ’19 and Allie Stasior ’20 logged 75 meter acceleration runs ranging from 6.5 to 5.1 seconds. “For perspective,” said Raina White, Thayer Lab Instructor and DFR team advisor, “a few production cars warmed up the track with acceleration times of 4.7 for a Tesla and 5.2 for a Bolt.” Princeton, with an all electric vehicle, logged the fastest Acceleration Event time at 4.9 seconds.

“Although not as fun to watch, but more exciting in my opinion,” added White, “is that Dartmouth placed first in the design event, where industry experts evaluate the quality of their engineering work. Students are asked questions regarding their design decision making, supporting analysis and validation, and general understanding of the vehicle behaviors.”

For many of the students, getting to see the cars they’ve built on the racetrack is only a small part of the Formula Hybrid experience.

“The thing that’s really cool to me, that I wouldn’t have expected, is the willingness of all the teams to help each other out,” said Max Schwegman, a Princeton senior. “It’s a lot more of a ‘we’re all in this together’ atmosphere than I would have thought. The amount of camaraderie here is pretty remarkable.”

In addition to getting a unique teamwork and hands-on learning experience, students can also find themselves landing a job. Top automotive companies sponsor the competition and many send recruiters.

Formula Hybrid challenges students to hone skills they will need in the real world, says Mike Chapman ’76 Th’77, a senior program manager at Intralinks in Waltham, Mass. Chapman served as a judge for the Project Management event, which requires students to present a project plan, including scope, goals, and change management plans. “It’s the real thing,” said Chapman. “I do program management for a living and this is the stuff we do every day, so after they leave here, these students can at least say they’re familiar with it.”

“[Formula Hybrid]’s not only job skills and personal skills, but it’s also seeing it all put together,” said George Spearing, a first-year student at UVM. “It’s so much different than seeing it as a model on a computer. Everything you worked on is all together and working in front of you. It’s a beautiful experience. Seeing the application of so much that I’m learning in automotive, it’s actually solidified this as as a potential direction I want to go. There are so many different opportunities and fields, and then, wow, here’s a race car. I didn’t think of this as a direction to pursue before.”

 

2018 OFFICIAL RESULTS

(Scores and times available here.)

Hybrid Category Top Six

  1. Dartmouth (Dartmouth Formula Racing)
  2. RV College of Engineering (Ashwa Racing)
  3. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT Hot Wheelz)
  4. Milwaukee School of Engineering (Mozee Motorsports)
  5. University of Victoria (UVic Hybrid)
  6. Lawrence Technological University (Blue Devil Motorsports)

Electric-Only Category Top Six

  1. Georgia Tech (HyTech Racing)
  2. Princeton University (Princeton Racing Electric)
  3. University of Vermont (UVM AERO)
  4. Lafayette College (Lafayette Motorsports)
  5. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT Motorsports)
  6. Tufts University (Tufts Electric Racing)

2018 SPONSORED AWARDS

Test Equity / Keysight Technologies  Hit The Ground Running Prize

  • First Place: University of Vermont (UVM AERO)
  • Second Place: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT Hot Wheelz)

General Motors Spirit of Formula Hybrid Award (Trophy & $1,000.00)

General Motors Best Engineered Propulsion System Award (Trophy & $1,000.00)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Innovation Award ($1,000.00)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Industrial Design Award ($1,000.00)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Gracious Professionalism Award ($1,000.00)

  • Lafayette College (Lafayette Motorsports)

IEEE Engineering the Future Award (Trophy)

IEEE Excellence in EV Engineering Award (Trophy)

2018 Competition Photos & Videos

Formula Hybrid 2018

Day 4 Wrap-Up

This year New Hampshire Motor Speedway brought all kinds of weather to Formula Hybrid—wintery cold, spring rain, summer heat, and today some thunderstorms!

Five teams were ready bright and early to take a shot at today’s Endurance Event:

Hytech Racing got on the track after lunch and after passing a rain test and was able to complete over 20 laps. Lawrence Tech also got some track time although they were ineligible to earn points.

Endurance is the most challenging of the dynamic events where the cars must prove their durability over a distance of 44 kilometers which includes two climbs per lap totaling more than 72 feet. All vehicles begin with fully charged accumulators (batteries or capacitors). Hybrids are given an additional allocation of liquid fuel so that all hybrid vehicles start with the same amount of energy. Electric-only vehicles must complete Endurance with the energy contained in their accumulators.

RIT Hot Wheelz also passed the rain test and tried hard to get to the track but had to stop after mechanical problems arose at the brake test. (They can still stand proud with a first place finish in the Project Management competition!)

Dartmouth Formula Racing was the only team this year to complete all 44 laps of the Endurance Event and also came in first in the hybrid category for Design, Acceleration, and Autocross. It’s the first time Dartmouth has ever completed all events at Formula Hybrid!

Dartmouth Formula Racing in the Endurance Event

Dartmouth Formula Racing in the Endurance Event

Ashwa Racing (RV College of Engineering) was very excited to finish a total of 41 laps in Endurance!

Ashwa Racing Celebrates

And a few things the cameras don’t always show:

“The thing that’s really cool to me, that I wouldn’t have expected, is the willingness of all the teams to help each other out. It’s a lot more of a ‘we’re all in this together’ atmosphere than I would have thought. The amount of camaraderie here is pretty remarkable.” —Max Schwegman, Princeton senior ME major

“[Formula Hybrid]’s not only job skills and personal skills, but it’s also seeing it all put together. It’s so much different than seeing it as a model on a computer. Everything you worked on is all together and working in front of you. It’s a beautiful experience. Seeing the application of so much that I’m learning in automotive, it’s actually solidified this as as a potential direction I want to go. There are so many different opportunities and fields, and then, wow, here’s a race car. I didn’t think of this as a direction to pursue before.” —George Spearing, UVM freshman EE major

Final competition results are being posted HERE. Meanwhile, be sure to check our Flickr album for new photos! (Videos coming soon…)

Formula Hybrid 2018

Day 3 Highlights

Blue skies and surprisingly hot temps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today, but teams kept their cool as they worked diligently to get their cars ready for the track.

Winners of the Project Management competition were RIT Hot Wheelz for the hybrid category and Hytech Racing for electric-only.

Design competition finalists were Ashwa Racing & Dartmouth Formula Racing for hybrid and Hytech Racing & UVM AERO for electric-only.

Teams that passed all mechanical & electrical inspections are: Ashwa Racing; Dartmouth Formula Racing; Michigan Hybrid Racing; Princeton Racing Electric; UVM AERO; and HyTech Racing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for results of the Acceleration and Autocross events.

And check our Flickr album for new photos!

Formula Hybrid 2018