Imagine designing a Formula style race car. Now imagine you actually have to build it from the ground up. Sound daunting? Not to students involved in the Formula SAE Team at UMD. Associate Professor Daniel Pope from SCSE’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering acts as the team’s advisor and facilitator, while other SCSE professors contribute technical expertise via individual instruction. With this network of support, the students are up for the challenge. And because last year’s team successfully built and raced a car, the students have the opportunity to take what was learned during the previous competition and improve upon the new car’s design and performance.
The racing event is organized by SAE International, a society for engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries. Each year SAE International hosts Formula style racing competitions across the country.
(From left) Associate Professor Daniel Pope with UMD Formula SAE team members
Owen Dickinson, Dana Johnson, Ben Gundermann, and Gavin Potts.
Last year's UMD SAE race car is in the foreground.
The Plan and the Process
Design and engineering of the car are dictated by a 108-page SAE International manual filled with rules and regulations. “That’s the Formula," Pope noted. The book outlines hundreds of details from wall thickness, body composite, and fastening systems. And lest, someone think that a school could just throw a whole lot of money at the car to build something awesome, the competition also judges teams on a cost report detailing what it would cost to mass produce 1,000 models. Additionally, the students participate in a sales presentation, pitching their product to automotive industry leaders from Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
Dana Johnson, who worked on last year’s car, is a double major in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering and is the race car project manager this year. Johnson drove last year’s car and because of that, he learned a lot about what this year’s team should focus on. Last year they concentrated on speed but, because of how the track is laid
out, they never even got the car up to the highest gear. This year they are reducing the weight of their vehicle by half in order to greatly improve acceleration and fuel economy. They are also focusing on driver ergonomics.
During the competition, the car is initially judged on static events. The first is the technical inspection. Many teams won’t pass that phase and won’t proceed to the next levels of the competition. It was a huge accomplishment for the UMD team to pass the technical inspection last year. “It’s very unusual to pass the first time," Johnson stated.
Last year's UMD SAE race car during the tilt-test
at the SAE International competition
After the technical inspection, the sales presentation, engineering design, and cost and manufacturing review, the car moves to the dynamic events. These consist of an acceleration test, a skid-pad test which measures the car’s cornering ability on a flat-surface; a noise test to measure decibel levels; a master switch test to confirm that all electrical can be cut off immediately in case of an emergency, and a brake test. The car is also subjected to a tilt-test in which the car is literally tipped 67 degrees on a tilt table to make sure it won’t roll over on a sharp incline.
The autocross event evaluates the car’s maneuverability and handling. All of the drivers are UMD students who have done some racing. Johnson hopes to drive again. It’s a unique experience driving a Formula style car. “There’s no power steering. It’s a different feeling than a regular car," Johnson said. Also drivers are strapped in with their arms locked in place. Claustrophobics need not apply.
The last event is the endurance test. This not only evaluates the cars endurance, it also measures the vehicle’s fuel economy. Two drivers drive ten laps each. Teams get points for each of the events with 1,000 points maximum possible. The UMD team hopes to place in the top fifty.
Gaining New Skills
To say that the students are learning a lot through this process would be an understatement. Freshman Gavin Potts learned new software called Solidworks™ which enables him to design everything in three dimensions. The software can then simulate stresses, loads, and forces, anticipating design problems early on. Owen Dickinson who is managing the steering and brake team believes he is learning faster by applying theories to actual situations. “I feel like I’m ahead of the game," he said.
Johnson also is learning about managing a team. “It teaches you to work with people. There are a lot of opinions. You have to juggle people’s input," he said. Johnson enjoys that this project is not theory based. It encompasses the entire manufacturing process, taking a vehicle from concept to realization. “We can say we designed it, built it, raced it," Johnson said. “Those are big deals when you’re applying for a job," Pope added.
The competition among the various schools is friendly. Because learning is a large part of the process, there is a lot of cooperation among teams. There are discussion groups online, and students can post questions to get feedback from other students around the country.
UMD students have had to learn some fundraising too, reaching out to local companies for materials and supplies. “We need a race trailer, two helmets, even a racing go-cart for driver training," Johnson said. Students have held fundraisers to raise cash, including a car smash where students paid to take a whack at a junker. They held the event during finals week and made $500.
To find out what kind of supplies and materials are needed for the UMD Formula SAE race car, individuals may contact Daniel Pope at 218-726-6685 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in making a financial donation may contact, Tricia Bunten, Development Director for the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at 218-726-6695, toll-free at 1-866-999-6995, or by email at email@example.com.
In the meantime the students, with guidance from Pope and other SCSE professors, continue to work on their race car — designing, testing, and evaluating. The project seems to invigorate the students. As Johnson has discovered, it’s easier to learn “when it’s something you have a passion to work on."
The lives of 33,000 people in the United States alone could be saved each year based on the collaborative discovery of three scientists from UMD, the University of Minnesota Medical School—Duluth, and the University of Minnesota Medical School – Minneapolis. Matthew Andrews, Ph.D., Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D, and Gregory Beilman, M.D. have designed a low volume resuscitation fluid that may increase the survival rates of people who would otherwise die from hemorrhagic shock.
The proprietary product is called TamiasynTM and will potentially extend the "golden hour" – those critical minutes after traumatic hemorrhagic shock -- and increase the survival rates of victims because it will allow the human body to endure severe blood loss longer and inhibit human organ damage during resuscitation. The long-standing treatment during hemorrhagic shock, hydrating a patient with an IV of solutions, does not slow blood loss nor does it keep the organs and brain oxygenated.
"UMD is truly proud and inspired by the research of Professor Andrews, Professor Drewes and Dr. Beilman," said UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin. "Their collaborative discovery is a giant step toward life-saving medical treatment for military and accident victims. Their work exemplifies the high quality research currently being done on the UMD campus." “Saving lives is the ultimate goal of any scientific endeavor, and we are very proud that Tamiasyn™ had its start right here on our campus," praised Gary Davis, Senior Associate Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School—Duluth.
Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D., head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, and Matthew Andrews, Ph.D., professor and head of the
UMD Department of Biology
Andrews, professor and head of the UMD Department of Biology, has been studying hibernating animals for 16 years and is considered an international expert on the molecular biology of hibernation. Drewes heads the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth and is known internationally for his research related to the blood-brain barrier and neuroprotection. He is a recipient of the Javits Award from National Institutes of Health and the founding president of the International Brain Barriers Society. Beilman is professor of Surgery and Anesthesia, chief of Surgical Critical Care/Trauma at the University of Minnesota. In addition to research in tissue monitoring during hemorrhagic and septic shock, Beilman conducts research in pathogenesis and early metabolic changes in shock.
“Since 2000 we have watched Dr. Matt Andrews’ hibernation studies unfold," commented James Riehl, SCSE Dean. “To see this collaboration with Drs. Drewes and Beilman now come so close to achieving the promise is very exciting, for us as a college and for the public. This is a great example of how academic research may lead to very important benefits to society."
Andrews and Drewes are readying their research for publication in scientific journals. Their work was featured last fall in a CNN national television special entitled “Cheating Death – The Doctors and Medical Miracles that are Saving Lives Against All Odds", produced by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit at CNN. Recently Andrews was interviewed for a PBS NOVA scienceNOW program to air later this year.
Andrews and Drewes also continue to refine and advance the research for other applications, forexample the implications of their research to improve the outcomes for stroke and heart attack victims. In addition, they foresee an application for preserving organs used for transplant. Most abdominal organs used for transplantation can be preserved 24 to 48 hours from the point of removal to implant. Hearts and lungs can be preserved only minutes to hours. If their work helps extend the life of the organs, effectively prompting the organs to hibernate, organ banks could be established that make more organs available on an as-needed basis.
The University of Minnesota’s Office for Technology Commercialization in Minneapolis has authorized a development stage company to hold an exclusive license to market the product. VitalMedix™ intends to market Tamiasyn™ in combination with a hemorrhagic shock treatment system. It is hoped that this system will offer first responders, trauma center surgeons, and military medics a simple, safe, and reliable product for preventing serious organ damage and death among victims of severe blood loss. It is believed that Tamiasyn™ also might have potential applications during invasive surgery and organ preservation, and in cases of stroke.
Development of the product requires FDA approval, clinical trials, and product introduction in Europe and the United States. VitalMedix™ is charged with raising venture capital to invest in the commercialization of the product. According to the company plan, it will be three years before FDA approval, but the clinical trials tentatively should begin in the second year.
Support SCSE with a Scholarship Gift
Now more than ever UMD students can benefit from scholarship support. Todayís students are shouldering a much higher percentage of the actual cost of higher education than ever before in our history. Watch the video to hear from a student receiving a scholarship and the donor that is making her award possible. Then please consider supporting scholarships for science and engineering students.
Your scholarship gift is ...
...an investment in a studentís future, enabling talented and deserving students to gain the distinctive, lifelong benefits of a University of Minnesota Duluth education.
...an investment in society's future. At UMD, our graduates acquire the combination of knowledge, abilities, outlook and values that will be required of tomorrow's leaders.
...an investment in the universityís future, helping us keep UMD affordable for upcoming generations without sacrificing our traditional high level of quality in instruction and academic programs.
...enduring, because endowments provide a source of funding in perpetuity for future scholarship awards.
...personally rewarding, through opportunities to name your scholarship in honor or memory of someone and to build a connection with student recipients.
Use the online form to make a gift to an already established scholarship. For information on scholarships or a new scholarship please contact:
Tricia Bunten, Senior Development Director
218-726-6995 or 866-999-6995 (toll-free)
Swenson College of Science and Engineering Enrollment
Enrollment at the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE) continues to grow. The fall of 2009 saw overall SCSE enrollment of 2,562 undergraduates. This was the highest enrollment in SCSE history. Of those 2,562 students, 608 were freshman.
Freshmen enrollment in SCSE for the fall of 2010 is projected to be 635 individuals. This number will ensure that students can get into the courses that they need. "We are committed to making sure that our students can stay on track to graduate in a timely manner" said Janny B. Walker, in SCSE Student Affairs.
Due to the overwhelming response, SCSE stopped accepting applications from new freshman in engineering programs in December 2009. SCSE stopped accepting applications for the rest of SCSE programs in January 2010.
Are you taking advantage of GoldPASS?
GoldPASS is the U of Mís online database designed to help connect alumni and students with employers, volunteer opportunities, and internships across the country.
You can post your resume, search and view open positions, register for career fairs, and even schedule interviews. Employers can open an account on GoldPASS, and post available positions as well as internship or volunteer opportunities.
You can also look for qualified applicants among GoldPASS users. Visit GoldPASS online to learn more about this valuable resource.
Dean Jim Riehl's Book Released
Mirror-Image Asymmetry: An Introduction to the Origin and Consequences of Chirality As scientists have become more capable of probing the structure of three-dimensional objects at the molecular level, the need to understand the concept and the consequences of mirror-image asymmetry-chirality-has increased enormously. Written at an introductory level, Mirror-Image Asymmetry provides an overview of the importance and effects of asymmetry from the atomic and molecular world of physics and chemistry to the organisms and structures that we see and use in our everyday life. The reader will develop a broad appreciation of three-dimensional asymmetry from the microscopic molecular world to the macroscopic world of handedness, automobile driving, windmills, sports, and similar phenomena.