Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From all of us on the team, please have a safe and fun halloween!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The beginning of the Uni

Uni. Mono. One.

These words symbolize, among other things, the prefix to a singular body, or chassis, as in the case of MSU's newest Formula SAE car; Car 12. For the better part of a decade, MSU Formula SAE Teams have produced chassis based upon 4130 Chromoly Steel space frames; structures consisting of tubes that are welded together. Though the team has designed and manufactured some amazing chassis out of steel; due to rules changes for 2009, this style of chassis manufacture has become less advantageous to continue with.

For over a year now, Composite Chassis Team Leader Josh Heyden has been developing the design of what is now Car 12's full-composite monocoque chassis. By definition, a monocoque is a structural skin that supports loads that otherwise would be applied to an internal load-bearing frame covered by a skin, the latter being very similar to 2008 MSU Car 51. This type of design and manufacture, combined with modern composite techniques, allows for significant weight savings and the ability to locate inner suspension points essentially where ever best suits to generate desired vehicle dynamics performance. The downsides to this type of chassis are that it is significantly more expensive than a space frame, requires far more planning, more time allotted for manufacturing, and also the use of an Autoclave to cure. However, given some rules changes for the 2009 Formula SAE season, we felt long ago that this was a good time to transition to the monocoque technique.

Over the past few weeks, Composite Chassis Team Leader Josh Heyden has been wrapping up the design of Car 12's monocoque chassis and preparing the blocks of Huntsman Renshape that will become the plugs to make molds that will eventually generate the vehicle's chassis. At this time, thanks to long-time Platinum Sponsor Demmer Corporation, the Huntsman-donated Renshape blocks are being machined to create Car 12's chassis plugs.

Below are some pictures from epoxying the Ren-sheets together to form the blocks. We'll keep everyone updated as the most-exciting component of Car 12 continues!

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast.


Composite Chassis Team Leader Josh Heyden and Aerodynamics Team Leader Jim Guitar drill holes to center the blocks on their respective risers

A completed block

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sponsor Drive

As the fall leaves began to change fully from green to orange and brown, we hosted one of the team's oldest traditions: the Sponsor Drive. Despite the name, the event is really a gathering for team member's families, alumni, friends, fans and of course, the people who make all of this possible; sponsors.

In some past years, the weather for the Sponsor Drive hasn't been very pleasant. Even rain and hail have frequented us. But this year, the only problems that we encountered were too much sun and too warm of temperatures. Below are some pictures of the event.


Team alum and Pratt & Miller Engineering employee Ben LeVesque with 2009 Powertrain Team Leader Drew Darling

Team alum and Pratt & Miller Engineering employee John Lankes makes the first laps of the day in 2007 Car 9

Brian Gruber (L) and Ken Wallace (R) from Platinum Sponsor Demmer Corporation take a look at the packaging on Car 51

Aerodynamics Team Leader Jim Guitar talks with his father; In-kind Sponsor Ralph Guitar from Performance Plus of Kalamzoo

Ken Wallace, Chief Engineer on our project at Platinum Sponsor Demmer Corporation

Friends from Sakor and PME

It was very sunny out

In addition to the sweet sound of the race cars, we listened to music from the Jukebox provided by Zemke Operated Machines

Thank you to all of the sponsors of this year's Sponsor Drive: MSU Pavilion, Michigan International Speedway, Zemke Operated Machines, MSU Landscaping, Foto 1 Imaging, The Center for Spartan Engineering, Mr. Craig Gunn, MSU Museum, and EZ Party Rentals.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MSU Homecoming Celebration

The first weekend of October was marked with the MSU Homecoming Celebration; consisting of Friday's parade and a tailgate for Platinum Sponsor the College of Engineering on Saturday. As the homecoming parade is traditionally experienced in sub-40 degree F temperatures and rain; we were happy to welcome mid-50 degree F weather and an overcast sky. Enjoy some pictures of Car 51 and team; the former being piloted by 2008 Powertrain and Driving Team Leader Andy Gryczan.


2009 Team with 2008 race car 51 and GM-donated race support truck

Andy with Johnny Spirit

2009 Data Acquisition Team Leader Marshall Mendoza with Car 51 Cockpit Team Leader Elizabeth Carroll

Final preparation for the parade

Monday, October 6, 2008

Formula SAE Registration

This morning, our 2009 Formula SAE Car and Team was officially named. As we completed registration for the 2009 Formula SAE Competition at Michigan International Speedway, we received our new vehicle numbers: Car 12. As is tradition at MSU, cars are named after the numbers for the Michigan event. This dates back to the days of Formula SAE where there was only one event in the United States, and as such, those numbers were what the car always was. Though the team now attends two US-events, we have kept the same ideology and remained true to the MSU teams of the past.

Competition dates are Wednesday, May 13 through Saturday, May 16, 2009. Each day is free and open to the public, and we'll be hosting a breakfast at our paddock on Saturday morning for friends, family and sponsors. Please let us know if you would like to come!