"A lot of us build it just because we love racecars," O'Grady said. "We love the automobile industry, we love cars and it's also a unique engineering project. No single piece of machinery's as complex as a car and is encompassing as a car like this one."
Matt Oehlschlaeger, the team's faculty advisor, added that that practice is something that students can't always grasp inside a classroom, and tangible trial and error is the best way to test their knowledge.
Such attention to detail has won the team some prestige in the past. Since RPI's first foray into the competition in 1994, where it placed 34th, the once small team O'Grady said it had only 12 members when he joined as a freshman versus the 30 it boasts today has earned a 10th place ranking nationally and a 31st overall world ranking.
Where this year's team hopes to make up some ground is on the endurance test, a 22 kilometer race that only about half the 80 participating teams' cars finish. Last year, RPI was part of the non finishers group, O'Grady said, and the team worked on developing an aerodynamics package and fine tuning engine calibrations that will hopefully solve that problem.
Students on the RPI Formula SAE Team unveiled their built from scratch car to the public Monday morning during a special presentation on campus, explaining how their car is built not only to look good but to leave others in its dust when it comes time for the competition capping race.
RPI unveils experimental Formula SAE racecar VIDEO
many past competition participants have gone on to work for NASA and Boeing, among other engineering giants, giving them a leg up Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 3 High
TROY After spending 5,200 hours building an experimental racecar not to mention design time a team of 21 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students will put that vehicle to the test in May during an international design competition.
on others entering the industry. But the competition is also about a love of engineering and racecars, Smooke said, and the chance to put that passion into practice on an international level is one he relishes.
RPI team leader Eric Smooke, a senior mechanical engineering major, agreed about the prestige aspect, adding that Under Armour Drive Blue
RPI senior and aeronautical engineering major Stephen O'Grady, the team's chassis and suspension group leader, said he and others took an interest in the Formula SAE Competition in order to apply their engineering skills in the real world, and also indulge in their passion.
"The final prize is really just a place to practice the engineering skills you learn in class," O'Grady said. "You learn all these theories, you can learn all these equations, but you don't really understand them completely until you go to an exercise like this. . And that's why this sort of thing is important to a lot of job seekers as well as employers and the institute. A lot of prestige . can come from this."
For many participants, that aspect is the most important of the competition.
Before the competition's dynamic events the endurance test as well as a test of the car's capabilities such as acceleration and turning there are two days of static events where cars are judged by their design and marketability, and students will meet with professionals and perform a sales presentation that argues for their vehicle's viability in the racing market and defends its cost and look. Under Armour Shoes Color Red
The "whole gambit of engineering disciplines" goes into the car's construction, O'Grady said, and design work on the next car begins as soon as the current competition is finished. Involvement with the team Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 3 Blue is purely voluntary and earns students no class credit, and team members work on weekends and school breaks and in past days pulled all nighters to bring the project to fruition.
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