A group of our Engineering students tested their self-designed and self-built racing car against dozens of others from around the world at Silverstone last weekend as they took part in the final of the global Formula Student competition. The annual international competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers challenges teams of university students to design, build and race their own car at the famous racetrack.
Sussex’s team, named Mobil 1 Team Sussex after its main sponsor, finished in the top third out of nearly 200 entries from universities worldwide, including a number of specialist engineering and technology institutions.
Their 29-strong student team is made up of engineers, as well as a number of product designers and business and media students, all from the University of Sussex.
The competition was tough, with the team being judged on a wide range of criteria, from design to performance. Mobil 1 Team Sussex 2014 scored particularly highly for the car’s acceleration and for the quality of their business presentation in front of a panel of industry expert judges.
The team were accompanied at Silverstone by Lynda Whitby-Eastwood, a Sussex staff member who, earlier this year, abseiled down Portsmouth’s Spinaker Tower to raise funds for the students. The Head of the School of Engineering and Informatics, Professor Diane Mynors, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, also made the journey to the iconic Northamptonshire circuit to cheer on the team.
You can view the full results of the 2014 competition on the website of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and go to Facebook to see a gallery of photos taken by Sussex staff member in Informatics Malcolm Tam.
The team spent the 2013-14 academic year building and fine-tuning their vehicle, before launching it at a special event on campus in June and plans are already afoot for the next wave of University of Sussex designers and engineers to take up the baton for next years competition, although it could be a few years until Team Patron Dr Johnson Beharry VC’s son will be able to reach the pedals!