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Mechanical engineering student wins Medal for Excellence for study of noise control

Friday, June 28, 2019 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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Ashish Dev Kotian, a recent mechanical engineering master’s graduate from The University of Texas at Arlington, won a prestigious national award for his work designing, fabricating and testing a muffler for the University’s Formula SAE team.

Ashish Dev Kotian

Ashish Dev Kotian, a recent mechanical engineering master’s graduate from The University of Texas at Arlington

Kotian was awarded the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA. It is awarded annually to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students at North American colleges and universities that have courses for noise control engineering.

Erian Armanios, chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, praised Kotian’s work.

“The Leo Beranek Medal recognizes Ashish’s project for the design, fabrication and testing of a muffler for FSAE cars in collaboration with UTA’s FSAE racing team,” Armanios said. “His award is a testament to the excellence of our Formula SAE program under the leadership of Bob Woods and the quality of our students.”

Woods, a mechanical engineering professor and FSAE team adviser, founded UTA’s Formula SAE program in 1978. The team has since won six championships in Mini Baja, eight championships in the United States and international titles in England, Japan and Australia.

Graduates of the team have been offered jobs with racing teams in Formula One, the American Le Mans Series, the IndyCar Series and the Newman-Haas Racing team, in addition to working for U.S. automotive companies, NASA and corporations such as Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin and SpaceX.

“I am very proud of the fact that our racing program encompasses students at every level, and that they gain extraordinary levels of experience in design, manufacturing, testing and working as part of a team,” Woods said. “We have built a reputation over the years as an innovative program that produces engineers who get up to speed quickly and contribute immediately, which is why so many of our students are hired by top companies.”

Kotian originally designed the muffler as part of a class project for Woods’ race car engineering course. He continued to engineer it until it successfully met FSAE’s sound-level requirements for internal combustion engine cars: 103 decibels for idle and 110 decibels at all other speeds.

“We have had some success in controlling noise level in the past, but my goal was to build a muffler that could control noise levels at both low and high ends of engine speeds and improve performance as well,” Kotian said. “From there, it took a lot of testing and experimentation to find the best design solution, and my design is now on this year’s car.”

Each year, participating students from across campus design and build a Formula SAE racing car from the tires up, then race it against other collegiate teams.

The 2019 car finished third overall at the FSAE Nationals in Lincoln, Neb., June 19-22, placing second in the design segment of the competition and third in autocross.

Recent cars have featured active aerodynamics and advanced battery technology, including a hybrid car and a fully electric vehicle. The team also has been a leader for years in the use of carbon fiber wheels and other components.

At one point, the team earned a No. 1 ranking in the United States and climbed as high as No. 5 in the world. UTA Racing traveled to England in 2018 to compete in the Formula Student competition at the legendary Silverstone track, finishing eighth out of 100 teams.

-- written by Jeremy Agor