Posted September 9, 2016

Student made race car at Society of Automotive Engineers event

Built by Temple engineering students, the open-wheel car was on display at the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Temple Formula Racing’s car.
Photography By: 
Courtesy of Jonathan Petrina
The designing and building of the car was a group effort with a dozen College of Engineering students and thousands of hours of labor.

Back in June, campus had grown quiet. Caps had been tossed at commencement and most students had moved out of their dorms. But, one corner of campus was still buzzing—with power tools.

Temple Formula Racing—a group of engineering students who come together to design and construct an open-wheel race car—was in the final stages of preparation before competition.

In June, the team traveled to a Society Automotive Engineers event in Lincoln, Nebraska, to showcase their vehicle and the process undertaken to create it. This was the first year the team participated in this particular event, which was attended by 80 other national colleges.

“It’s more than just the car, we are basically a mock company bringing a product to market,” said Jonathan Petrina, Class of 2017. “We have to design and build the prototype race car and go through all types of events, ranging from marketing and promotion to entice sponsors and investors in the company, to a cost report where we’ll be audited down to nuts and bolts.”

Showcasing their work is nothing new to the team. Temple has displayed a car in other Society Automotive Engineers events and at the past three Philadelphia Auto Shows. What is new is that for the first time since 2012 the car passed all inspections.

Due to the excessive heat, the car was unable to complete the endurance race, placing Temple in 48th place for the overall competition. Although the team’s car wasn’t able to finish the race—like most of the other cars competing—the team’s advisor Richard Cohen, professor of mechanical engineering, was impressed with the leap in rankings and the overall progress of the group.

“These kinds of experiences gives them the confidence that they can do real engineering even as a sophomore or as a student who doesn’t always get As,” said Cohen. “Sometimes we get students who excel because they understand what engineering is and that they can design something tangible that can actually work.”

Read the full story.

  • Sparks flying as a student uses a saw.
    In January, the team's car started to take shape. Photography by: Betsy Manning
  • Two students working together to measure materials.
    This was the third consecutive year that a Temple Formula Racing project was showcased at the Philadelphia Auto Show.
  • A student welding together the frame of the car.
    Aaron Snyder, Class of 2018, and vice president of Temple Formula Racing, welded the body of the car together.
  • A student wearing protective head gear while working on the car frame.
    The race car complies with standards established by SAE International, a global association for engineers in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.