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UT Arlington FSAE program to host 13th Annual Texas Autocross rally

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Friday, July 12, 2013

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

News Topics: engineering, sports

Student engineers from universities across North America will compete in scaled-down versions of Indy racers that they have designed and built from scratch July 19-21 in the 13th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend on The University of Texas at Arlington campus.

UT Arlington will host teams from Texas A&M, the University of New Mexico, UT Austin, University of Kansas, Texas Tech University and University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

UT Arlington FSAE car

UT Arlington FSAE car

One of UT Arlington’s cars features new Active Aero technology, which uses a student-developed, on-board computer to open or close the “wings” reduce drag and increase downforce to make the car stick to the road. KU’s team plans to compete with an all-electric car.

UT Arlington will showcase 10 cars, including the very first championship formula car from 1986, and a hybrid formula car that integrates electric motors with a 250cc single-cylinder motorcycle engine.

The Formula Society of Automotive Engineering program allows students to apply a wide variety of knowledge gained through engineering, business, art and other disciplines to a real-world project, said Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the UT Arlington College of Engineering.

“The FSAE program’s value can be truly measured in the critical-thinking skills our students develop as they design, refine and build vehicles,” Behbehani said. “The program helps students develop so many capabilities needed in real life. Teamwork, hard work and the ability to solve complex problems are the essential skills they will need to succeed as engineers in the professional world.”

Naima Rivas is an electrical engineering junior and captain of a UT Arlington’s 2014 FSAE team, which in addition to a combustion car is also developing an electric car for next year’s completion. She said the program inspires students and teaches them to collaborate in the ultimate team environment.

“The FSAE team is all volunteer, which means everyone wants to be here. And we want to win,” Rivas said. “The program is run more like a company with different team members contributing their different expertise.”

The Texas Autocross event began as a competition among collegiate FSAE teams from Texas and Oklahoma, but has expanded to become an international competition that has drawn teams from all over the United States and Canada, said Bob Woods, mechanical engineering professor and FSAE adviser.

The UT Arlington program was strengthened by a recent major gift that established the Arnold E. Petsche Center for Automotive Engineering. The weekend’s activities will kick off with an open house at 1 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the Petsche Center.

Racing events begin at 8 a.m. Saturday on Lot 49, at Cooper Street and Doug Russell Road on the UT Arlington campus. Racing continues at 10 a.m. Sunday.

UT Arlington College of Engineering’s Formula SAE team is in its 32nd year and has won eight national and three international titles. Formula SAE is a worldwide engineering competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of about 33,800 students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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