What is Ram Racing?

Formula SAE (FSAE) is a student competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in which universities around the world design, manufacture, and race an open-wheeled race car. Each team competes in 5 dynamic events and 3 static events, where they are judged and scored out of 1000 possible points. The dynamic events test the vehicle and driver's physical capabilities and are worth a total of 675 possible points. The dynamic events consist of acceleration, skidpad, autocross, and endurance which is paired with fuel economy. Throughout the events, the race car will be operated by a student driver who will be required to steer, accelerate, brake, and shift the vehicle to accomplish the best possible results. The static events are worth the remaining 325 points, and consist of a design evaluation, cost report, and sales presentation.

FSAE RR24 Car Current CAD Model
RR23 Final Competition Car

About the Club

This is a club of around 60 students, most of which are MECH underclassmen. There is a 10 person MECH senior design team, which is what I am apart of. We also have 2 ECE seniors on the team who are working on separate projects that correspond more to their major. Within the club, there are 6 different subsystem teams to work on. These include:

  1. Powertrain
  2. Chassis
  3. Suspension
  4. Aerodynamics
  5. Electrical
  6. Business

Each of the subsystems have a leader, who is in charge of keeping everyone on schedule and assisting everyone with their respective expertise.

My Contributions

As for my contribution to the team, I have a few specified roles:

  • Senior Design Member
    • Contribute to the class deliverables (e.g. Presentations, Reports, Peer Reviews)
    • Keep a Design Notebook which is to be collected by Dr. Stanslowski four times per semester.
    • Assist underclassmen with the techniques they have not yet acquired (e.g. FEA, CFD, CAD Modeling, etc)
    • Working on own set of designs and assigned parts from team leadership
    • Validation of parts by integrating designs, verifying simulations, etc.
  • Aerodynamics Team Member
    • Using ANSYS Mechanical to run FEA on all supporting parts to aerodynamics subsystem (e.g. supports, nose cone, side pods, etc)
    • Using ANSYS Fluent to run and validate CFD simulations on the rear and front wings of the car.
    • Designing all wing supports, nose cone, and tabs which are used to secure parts to chassis nodes.
    • Assisting the underclassmen with technical solutions regarding airfoil choices and number of elements for each wing.
  • Manufacturing Team Member
    • As an upperclassmen, machine shop access is granted, therefore any underclassmen must be assisted when using anything in the machine shop.
    • Using prior experience to integrate manufacturing techniques for all parts within the car.

As you can see, being a senior is a tough task within the Ram Racing team. We must use our expertise to make sure all of the underclassmen are making solid design choices and have ways to validate those choices.

RR23 Final Car 2
Ram Racing Historical Car

Results and Personal Takeaways

Grad Pic

It has been an absolute blast being a part of the FSAE team. I have been able to apply all the skills that I have been so carefully learning throughout my undergraduate classes. I have not only been applying those skills, but I have learned how to interact with a team and ensure everyone is having a positive experience and gaining the most out of the project. These are some of the final results from a team standpoint:

  • Aero kit produces 125 lbs of downforce at 40 mph, while having a component weight of 12 lbs for the rear wing and 10 lbs for the front wing. Addition yields 2 mph faster cornering speed.
  • Fuel Tank was designed to hold 1.5 gallons.
  • Pedalbox contains two master cylinders for fully separate front and rear braking hydraulics. The electronically actuated throttle controls the throttle body within the required voltages.
  • ECU integrated with a custom wiring harness to monitor sensors and drive control systems on the car.
  • Wireless data acquisition was prototyped with a codebase set up for following years to be adaptable and flexible. Integrated to be wifi compatible allowing multiple devices to connect and monitor systems.
  • Finished 88th place out of 120 teams, a large increase from the previous year.

It has also helped me on a more personal level. Getting to help out the underclassmen has grown my leadership skills, and it has also helped me become more personable and break more out of my shell, because I have always considered myself introverted and have struggled with interactions like these. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to take part in and I learned so much about myself and about project management. I am very grateful to the CSU Ram Racing Team for letting me take part in such an important project.