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Team DrexElectric Ramps Up Work on their Formula Hybrid Racecar

April 11, 2012

Drexel’s engineering students are working hard to complete a racecar that meets both electrical and mechanical specifications for Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Sixth Annual Formula Hybrid International Competition scheduled for April 30— May 3 at the Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. The competition challenges students to design, build and race an open-wheel, single-seat hybrid racecar.

The car must conform to a formula which emphasizes drive train innovation and fuel efficiency in a high-performance application. Under the advisory of Dr. Kevin Scoles, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Dr. Tein-Min Tan, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM), the team consists of both Formula Hybrid club members and students.

Seniors from ECE include Nathalie Capati, Norman Chan, Ian Gallagher (team captain), Adam Hollock and Yuen Kwan Lo. MEM’s seniors on the team include Ryan Garis, Nikolas Heid (team captain), Ahmad Hijazi, John Lang and Marwan Mahfooz.

The purpose of the competition is to offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working on every aspect of their vehicle from the design to the finish line. In addition to speed, agility and endurance, student racecars will be judged on factors such as safety, reliability, manufacturing and assembly, marketability and design innovation.

“I’m looking forward to getting it all built up and ready to go,” says Gallagher.

The team showed off some of the work they have put together in the garage. They first set up all of the electronics that will help power the car. The students then can simulate details of the vehicle such as the driver’s accelerator pedal and battery management system before wiring them into the body of the car.

Scoles, who has served as an advisor for Drexel’s Formula Hybrid team for five years, said, “This year’s team has worked extremely hard and is about to start test driving. It’s a good design and workmanship has been top notch, so I expect the team to do well.”

To learn more about the SAE Formula Hybrid Competition, visit their official website. To see the Drexel team's progress, view the Flickr album.