UCL Formula Student team compete in international racing competition at Silverstone

18 July 2013

UCl's 2013 formula student racing team at Silverstone

The UCL Racing team, made up of students from the Mechanical Engineering Department, took part in the Formula Student competition organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) from the 5th-7th July. Described as the testing ground for the next generation of Mechanical Engineers, the event was held at the UK’s Silverstone race circuit.

Teams from engineering schools across the world enter cars they have built themselves into the many stages of the competition. Different test stages allow industry experts to assess the abilities of the car and the team, and create many challenges for the teams to overcome. Of more than 100 teams entered the competition, only 58 – including UCL – made it to the Endurance test on the final day.

Despite the difficulties, UCL survived due to the technical skills and determination of the students, as well as some gratefully received help from Delft University’s portable workshop. The students pushed their robust little engine to beyond the call of duty, running  with a water temperature of 115°C throughout the 22km Endurance race. The round was completed successfully for a respectable 18th place internationally, and 5th among UK universities.

The team was led by Charlie Archbold, (4th year Mechanical Engineering) and worked in their spare time at evenings and weekends to complete the project in the workshops of the Roberts Building basement and during a test day at North Weald Airfield. See a video of the test day below:

Students from across the years were invited to get involved, giving them the opportunity to gain ideas and experience for next year’s entry.

Prof Nicos Ladommatos, Head of Department said, ‘The team spirit was very impressive and morale was high, we had a very competitive team this year and an excellent car to compete with. The Silverstone atmosphere was tremendous, with over a hundred university teams there from all over the world, a true international student event.’

Reflecting on the event, Tim Baker, the staff supervisor of UCL’s Formula Student Project (who works within the motorsports industry when he is not teaching at UCL) said:

“It’s been a great opportunity transitioning the young engineers from university to the workplace. The team spirit has been fantastic throughout. They were faced with real pressure and coped exceptionally well when things were not going well. They made sure that their car completed the two hardest events in the competition, something that a lot of teams did not manage to do.”

Prof Yiannis Ventikos, who takes on the role of Head of Department in September 2013 and who joined the department at the beginning of July was delighted to see first-hand such great work taking place;

‘The team was doing what we all love doing: excellent and creative engineering! Dr Baker has put together a crack unit, but also the foundations for great things in the future. Everybody in the Department should feel very proud of the UCL Formula Student team and very committed to support this effort in every way we can in the future: I know I am!’

Who made UCL Racing’s 2013 entry happen?

Building a car does not happen in isolation. A great number of people and organisations played a part in helping the UCL Formula Student 2013 team succeed.

UCL Racing Team Supervisors                 Partners and Sponsors

Tim Baker Adept Industrial Finishers

UCL Racing Team

Advanced Engine Research – Mike Lancaster, Andrew Saunders
Enea Ali The Bartlett – Abi Abdolwahabi
Charlie Archbold Cranfield Impact Centre – Jim Watson
Faris Azelan Desktop Engineering – Chris Palmer, Bob Lynn
Hans Chan Essex Bearings – Adrian Wilkes
Mike Hart Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems
Bill Leslie IOM – Zoe Laughlin & Mark Miodownik
Clement Lim Life Racing – Jason English
Sarah Mussaid MCT Engineering – David Joseph, Steven Szmigielski
Royston Phoon National Instruments – Ben Lavasani
Mohammed Rashid Pars Garage – Gentian Shkembi
Engin Tahsin Primary Designs – Pat Barrett
Geraint Thomas RM Engineering- Bob McDonald, Stephen McDonald
Rishi Chavda SPAL Automotive UK
Nicholas Koh UCL Business – Cengiz Tarhan, Anne Lance, Emma Alam
Shivam Kumar Xworkss – Steve Stripe
Adrian Miszkiewicz
Artemis Pigoznis
Jacky Tang
Lu Yaozhi

UCL Mechanical Engineering Department Academic Support

Alvin Blackie
Nicos Ladommatos
Yiannis Ventikos
Kevin Drake
Adam Wojcik

UCL Mechanical Engineering Department Technical Support

Barry Carter
Neil Collings
Kevin Crowley
John Inns
Phill Jeavons
Peter Kelly
Richard Winn

UCL Mechanical Engineering Department Administrative Support

Rosina Chaudhry
Alexandra Grimova
Anne Harrower
Saffron Hutt
Jamie Maher
Ara Nazari
Victoria Nicholl

UCL Engineering Support

Sara Collins
Kate Oliver

Skeleton Productions

Max Brill
Jonathan English
Dave Smith
Ollie Tristram
Verena Vieregge

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