Berkeley Formula Racing (Formula SAE) is an engineering student organization that designs and builds a small formula-style race car in order to compete in the Formula SAE competition in Fontana, CA every June. Our team is comprised of 60 students from various backgrounds all belonging to at least one of our subsystems: Aerodynamics, Brakes & Driver Interface, Business, Chassis, Drivetrain, Engine, Electrical, and Suspension. Since our establishment in 2001, our dedicated members have worked their way from a simple engineering club to one of the top competitors in the nation. Each year we have shown growth in both our engineering design and project management skills.
Our project runs year-round. Once we finish our competition in June, we begin preparing for the next season's car by validating our designs during the Summer Testing Phase. This gives us the data we need to further understand our vehicle performance and set goals and specifications for the next iteration of our vehicle.
During the Fall Semester, we enter into the Design Phase in which each subsystem undergoes multiple design reviews with sponsors and alumni to ensure that they are working efficiently towards the goals they set at the beginning of the year. Once the design is complete, we begin our Manufacturing Phase. During these two months, student machinists make over 300 unique parts for our vehicle and student welders weld together our steel space frame chassis. The rest of our members assist by preparing and assembling steel tubes for chassis welding and fabricating foam molds and carbon fiber layups for the aerodynamic devices.
Once we assemble all these components, we move into the Testing Phase. This is the most crucial part of our process as we work to debug the car, validate our designs, and tune the car for optimal performance in preparation for our competition.
Competition itself takes one full week of June. Here our team is tested on both their knowledge of their designs as it relates to vehicle dynamics as well as their knowledge of the market as they attempt the sell the car to potential “investors.” The competition comprises of a number of both static and dynamic events. Static events include design, fuel efficiency, business, and cost, while the car itself is put to the test in a series of dynamic events that overall test the car's acceleration, cornering performance, and endurance. By the end of the week, the team walks away with great gains of knowledge, the achievement of a successful season… and hopefully a trophy!
This year we are attempting to raise a total of $10,000 through our crowdfunding efforts to allow us to complete several big ticket developments that require significant funding:
1. To switch our vehicle's engine from the KTM 350 engine used in previous years to the more powerful KTM 450 engine, we seek $5000 to purchase additional engines and necessary auxiliary parts.
2. To continue developing and testing our car’s composites structures, we seek $3000 to construct and test our carbon fiber aerodynamic components such as the front wing, undertray, and wheel shells.
3. To continue our weight reduction development and make our manufacturing process more efficient, we would like to invest $1000 in additive manufacturing and CNC machining technologies.
4. Finally, we want to integrate additional sensors into our car so we can monitor various vehicle systems during testing. This is estimated to cost around $1000 to purchase various vehicle dynamics sensors such as beta angle, accelerometers, and strain gauges.
STEM education is important to our members. We constantly strive for innovation and these developments not only help to improve our car for competition but also help improve our knowledge in design and project management. The skills we learn on the team make us competitive not only at our competition but also in industry where prior engineering experience is extremely valuable. These advancements would not be possible without sufficient funding, so we thank you for your time and consideration.
For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. Check our website out at fsae.berkeley.edu, and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/calracing) and Instagram (@calformulasae).