A group of undergraduate engineering students from Bangalore won second place in design and project management categories at the prestigious International Formula SAE hybrid car design competitions held last week in Loudon, New Hampshire.
In a field of 28 teams from various countries, including Japan, Russia, Taiwan and Canada besides USA, the team from Ashwa Racing Workshop at R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore won fourth overall position in the competition held May 4-6.
The Formula Hybrid event founded and run by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, is part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series and is regarded as the most complex and dynamic of the series.
“This was no mean feat given that the 20-member team of undergraduate students that included girls managed, despite time constraints, all aspects of the process of development, including shipping the car to the United States in time for the competition. That is impressive!” Rajat Bhatnagar of Atomic Launch of N.H. that helps companies launch new ventures and facilitates investments, management, product development, said.
The team members met with Riva Ganguly Das, Consul General of India in New York when they arrived in the city en route to Loudon May1 and briefed her about the design and the competition. Bhatnagar said he had been working to take care of the team in N.H. after being requested to do so by the consul general.
The sponsorship, including travel, lodging and food expenses, was borne and shared by Atomic Launch, and the team members. “We finished 2nd in design and project management events and 4th overall out of 28 registered teams. The prototype was designed, manufactured and assembled in Bangalore itself and was shipped all the way to New Hampshire,” Bhatnagar said quoting the students in response to a question. The prototype was shipped to U.S. March 10 and it reached the event site April 28.
The judges at the competition belonged to the Thayer School of Engineering, IEEE professionals, alumni of former Formula Hybrid team and many other people from various walks of life. Motor racing professionals who have been officiating at FSAE events were also part of the organizing committee or were judges.
To a question, the tem said that to build the race-car alongside their academics, it took them 10 months to complete. The cost incurred is around $25000.
RZ-X6H is a series hybrid prototype which is powered by both the motor, Agni-95R and Pulsar 220cc bike engine. The prototype weighs 318kg with a space framed chassis and uses a lithium ion battery with custom BMS (Battery Management System).
The students said the main design goal in building this race-car was performance and the challenge was to abide by the 35.5 MJ energy limit rule and suitably decide on the architecture to increase performance.
The Formula Hybrid Competition is an interdisciplinary design and engineering challenge for undergraduate and graduate university students. They must collaboratively design and build a formula-style electric or plug-in hybrid racecar and compete in a series of events.
This educational competition emphasizes innovation and fuel efficiency in a high-performance application. The Indian team that included Govind Shenoy, Lalith Keerthan, Abdul Rehman, Shamveel Mohammed, Manraaj Singh, Anushree H N, Nikitha Bhushi, Aishwarya L U and Gokul Suresh, will return to the competition next year with an electric car.