The Celebrating Students series provides a snapshot of McGill Mastercard Student Sponsorship recipients. The Student Sponsorship Program was launched in 1997 to give students who are involved with special campus groups or clubs an opportunity to apply for additional funding for projects carried out by their groups.
Today, the Alumni Association features the McGill Racing team:
Each year, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) organizes several student competitions around the world. Teams from universities around the world are given the same set of rules with the same problem statement: to design, build and compete a formula-style prototype race car.
The knowledge and experience necessary for the success of this project extends far beyond the classroom setting. The Formula SAE Series pushes students’ technical knowledge, software, fabrication and project management skills. The competition consists of both static and dynamic events, ranging from safety inspection, technical design, marketing and cost presentations to straight-line acceleration and conventional autocross events. The Formula SAE Project gives students the opportunity to take what they learn in textbooks and apply it to a real-life engineering problem, the motive being to better prepare student engineers for working in an industrial setting.
The McGill Racing Team’s prototype is a gas-powered, formula style race car. Equipped with a stock Rotax ds450 engine, everything from the frame and suspension to the intake and exhaust are designed and built from scratch. The team’s main event was the Formula SAE East Competition, which took place in May 2011 at the Michigan International Speedway. The MRT-13 yielded outstanding results: 12th in Marketing, 16th in Cost, 15th in Design, 8th in Skidpad and an overall 1st in Canada. During the main endurance race event, an oil fitting failed, causing a leak that disqualified the team with 2 laps to go in the 28 lap race. Completion of those two laps would have resulted in a 12th in the world (out of 120) finish. However, despite losing out on 400 of the 1000 possible competition points, the team stood strong at a 34th in the world finish. Looking forward, the team is looking to further reduce the weight of the vehicle by 10% in addition to developing a more reliable powertrain package.
For the 2012 season, the McGill Racing Team will be attending 3 competitions, which is the first time in the team’s 13-year history that more than one competition will be attended. In addition to the Formula SAE East Competition, the team will be competing at the Formula North Competition in Barrie, Ontario and the Formula SAE West Competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. A large focus on testing and design validation through data acquisition is a main focus of this season, and has the most direct impact on performance. This is a very large step for the team that would not be possible without the help of the Student Sponsorship Fund.
Funds generated through the use of the McGill Mastercard support these types of student initiatives. To get yours, click here.