ARLINGTON — The renowned Formula Society of Automotive Engineers program at
The University of Texas at Arlington is celebrating its 30th anniversary
with a reunion and showcase of its race cars at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the
Nedderman Hall atrium.
Formula SAE, a student
organization within the College of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering program,
allows students to conceive, design, build and race small but powerful
formula-style race cars. The students also sell sponsorships and form
partnerships with leading engineering companies, which allows them to race in
Formula SAE is sanctioned by the
Society of Automotive Engineers and is on the campuses of more than 140
universities worldwide. UT Arlington has been so successful in FSAE racing (with
a record eight first-place finishes) that the trophy awarded to the top student
driver internationally is named for UT Arlington professor Robert L. Woods.
Professor Woods has also written a history of the program that will be
available at the banquet.
At least 20 of UT Arlington’s 30
race cars will be displayed at the reunion. The first, from 1981, is similar to
a go-kart. The most recent is a silent and sleek hybrid racer—one of a few in
the world—that accelerates four times faster than a typical street car. UT
Arlington is one of the few universities in FSAE that keeps its cars, rather
than scrapping them to build new vehicles. Under FSAE rules, a car may be used
for only one year.
“Obviously, the technology of the cars has changed immensely in 30
years,” Woods said. “In the early days, we made hand drawings and then would go
make the car. Then we moved to 2-D on the computer. And now, every nut and bolt
on the car is drawn in 3-D before we build the car. We’ve advanced the
technology in terms of aerodynamics, suspension, handling, etc. Some of the
early cars seem barbaric now.”
Alumni and current students of UT Arlington’s FSAE program, as
well as sponsors, will be at the reunion. Many program graduates go on to work
at major engineering firms, including Peterbilt Motors Company, Bell
Helicopter, Williams-Pyro and more. Longtime community and industry supporters
include Peterbilt, Sawyer Composite, A.E. Petsche Corporation and Halliburton.
The University of Texas at
Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,421 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.