Formula SAE is a design, build, and test competition for college students. The goal of the event is to design and build a formula style racecar. The car is then tested through both a panel of engineering judges as well as various track events to test the car's abilities. The competition is framed as though the students are designing a car for a weekend warrior autocross racer within the various design constraints specified.
I was part of the suspension design sub-team. Originally, when I joined the project there was one other student who had just formed the sub-team. My teammate would take on all the paperwork and coordination with other design teams and I took lead on the geometry design and CAD modeling of all the parts that made up the car's suspension. The car's original setup was designed to have double wishbones on each corner with a rocker connecting to an inboard spring and damper. Due to a combination of layout issues and other design constraints the coilover was moved outboard on later revisions.
PVCC was the first, and currently only, 2 year community college to participate in the FSAE challenge. While the project was not successful I still consider this an accomplishment as the team had finished the design stage in a 2 year period (on par with most start-up programs) and successfully followed all the rules and regulations while starting up and founding the club. In order to participate in the competition not only does the car have to be designed and built from the ground up, but the school needs to found an SAE chapter and go through all the paperwork hurdles that enable a project this big to proceed.
In order to help raise funds for our entry into the FSAE competition we partnered with the local Chick-fil-A and set up a booth. We sold tickets for a prize wheel and split the funds with Chick-fil-A. Our club was registered as a charity organization allowing this to be a possible and profitable arrangement for the team.
We purchased a CB600RR engine from a salvage shop and got a tour around their shop to boot!
Manuals and Documentation
This is a copy of the rulebook for the last year I participated on the FSAE team before the club fell apart. This was also the first year we had officially signed up and registered to compete.
Suspension Team Overview Presentation
This was an update for the team on the suspension design progress and a general overview of how and why things were laid out as they were. This was part of a graded assignment for anyone who choose to get credit for their participation in the project. For me this was simply a way to make sure the whole team was up to date on the current progress and had an idea of how far along we were and what still needed further iteration.
The project fell apart when the appropriate amount of funding could not be procured. Internal administration struggles at PVCC also led to the production and driver training halting early. The project, or a similar project, has been brought up a a possibility again as funding to the college's technology department has drastically increased. Another similar project such as minicup or baja racing has also been discussed. I would love to see this project reborn and would be interested in participating as either a student or mentor.