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The Advanced Composites Group’s (ACG) Technical Support Manager, Jon Kennerley, and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ Senior Design Engineer – Composites, Steve Foster visited Silverstone recently to judge entrants for the ‘Best use of Composites’ Formula Student award.
As always, the aim of the Formula Student event is to ‘provide opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate their skills, enthusiasm, ingenuity and commitment to engineering excellence’. The future of industry in general depends on the promotion of careers and excellence in engineering. This real-life exercise, which includes design, manufacture, marketing and people skills, gives a realistic insight into the future career aspects of commitment, team-working and tight timescales. Many students experience insomnia, frustration and technical challenges during their build programme, but these help to hone their skills and talents.
The 2007 event is the fifth time that ACG has sponsored the ‘Best use of Composites’ category award at this prestigious annual event. Having recently signed a three-year agreement with Formula Student, ACG will be on the scene for at least another two years, providing support and encouragement to teams utilising advanced composite materials in their effort to become the ‘best in category’ and, optimistically, the overall winner of Formula Student.
The use of ACG’s Medium Temperature Moulding (MTM) composite prepreg materials has proved to be highly successful, as shown by some of the teams on the grid. ACG is pleased to encourage young engineers in the innovative application of composites in their racecar designs.
After careful deliberation, the judges decided that the entry from Graz University of Technology, Austria (car number 2), named ‘Tankia2007’, had gone the extra mile – so to speak, and was worthy of the accolade of ‘Best use of Composites’ for 2007. This, just one of four category awards that were taken either outright or shared by Graz, is a repeat of what the team enjoyed in the 2006 event. An element of déjà vu creeping in here as they repeated last year’s result by ending up as overall runner up across all categories! ACG’s MTM49-3 was expertly applied to manufacture a variety of components, including the modular monocoque, pedal box, ergonomic steering wheel, aerodynamics package (side pods and diffuser), wheel rims, engine equipment, and suspension ‘A’ arms.
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