Formula Hybrid student team earns major hardware

May 15, 2013
McMaster Daily News

Talk about a photo finish.

Earlier this month, the student-led McMaster Formula Hybrid team took home some impressive honours at the 2013 Formula Hybrid Competition at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Students from the University earned first-place in the GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems Award, and also received the coveted IEEE Engineering the Future Award.

The team also placed third in the overall Hybrid Results competition — rounding out the top three just behind Yale University and Lawrence Technological University — and took home a $500 Chrysler Innovation Award.

"I am exceptionally pleased that our team won these awards," says Ali Emadi, faculty sponsor for the team, and director, McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO). "This is impressive considering the fact that our team is very young, and this was only the second year for our team."

Formula Hybrid is a renowned engineering challenge for undergraduate and graduate students, and competition is always stiff. Participants are tasked with designing an open-wheel, single-seat, electric or plug-in hybrid racecar, which is pitted against other institutions from across Canada and the United States in a series of tests.

The McMaster vehicle has been meticulously designed and tested by a team of Engineering students, each divided into a specific crew: Chasis; Suspension; Brakes and Pedal Tray; Powertrain; High Voltage; Low Voltage; Safety; and Business.

The McMaster Formula Hybrid team poses with their latest awards at the recent Formula Hybrid Competition in New Hampshire. Among other honours, the team won the prized IEEE Engineering the Future Award. Photo: Aleksander Tepsic.

"In two short years, we have built a winning team," says Emadi. "I am proud of all of our wonderful students."

On May 9, the team showed off their car at the opening of the new, $26 million McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC). The 80,000 square foot facility will become the new home for Emadi and MacAUTO, along with a team of engineers, chemists, mathematicians and other researchers.

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