LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 6, 2017) – Formula Kentucky, the University of Kentucky’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Team, competed in the Formula SAE® Michigan competition held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, May 10-13. Its appearance marked the second year in a row in which UK has participated in the event. Thirteen team members made the trip.
Prior to leaving Lexington, the team already faced a significant hurdle: it didn’t actually have a car ready for competition. From the moment it arrived in Michigan, the team scrambled to get the car ready for inspection. Although the first attempt to pass inspection failed, team members eventually completed all of the inspection tests and got the car on the track in time to participate in the events.
“It felt so gratifying when we were able to put the final tech inspection sticker on our car and start racing!” said media lead Monon Rahman, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. “The team never gave up.”
Formula Kentucky finished 86th out of 116 teams from institutions around the world. Given the uncertainty about whether it could compete, the team was happy with its finish. It returned to Lexington Sunday, May 14, exhausted but grateful for the experience.
Conor Gaines, also a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said that engineering in the context of a competition like Formula SAE® Michigan is far more challenging than engineering as experienced in the classroom.
“One of the biggest ways that working on the team has helped me to grow as an engineer is the ability to apply my knowledge to solve actual problems. It's a completely different challenge when the necessary information and steps aren't laid out before you like they would be in a classroom. To solve problems on the team you have to be able to find all your own information, work out the necessary steps and evaluate the best possible solutions instead of just looking for the ‘right number.’”
The team worked closely with the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and coordinated with their Agricultural Machinery Research Laboratory to manufacture many of the parts needed to build the car.
In other racing news, the UK Solar Car Team will compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, July 3-8.
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