I’m Arnie Sasnauskas, team captain of the first Formula Student (FSAE) team in Trinity College Dublin. With over 400 universities taking part at events around the world, FSAE is the most prestigious engineering design competition at third level. Teams of students must design, construct, test and race a single seater formula style race car. Despite the rigorous rule book, each race car is different, and teams have the freedom to practice different approaches as innovation is encouraged. A lot of engineers on F1 teams have participated in FSAE. The skills absorbed from taking part in such a competition are invaluable.
Formula Trinity is a gripping new extracurricular activity in Trinity. Participating in such a competition was an overwhelming yet an exciting prospect last summer. Many people were cautious at the proposal of starting a new team as the competition saw little light in Ireland, with only DIT having an active team. Compared to countries such as the Netherlands and Germany, most Schools of Engineering have a FSAE team. Many teams have over a decade of experience and knowledge, so thinking about all the research that had to be done was daunting. However, by founding the team, we would be providing generations of students with an environment where ideas, skills and memories could be forged.
After gaining the support of a professor and assembling most of the team, we began the onerous task of studying vehicle dynamics and systems, and ultimately designing our first race car.
About 33 weeks later, our team of 32 hard-working engineering undergraduates (and a geologist) are doing something that did not exist a few months ago. Getting to this stage was not easy, as a team we have achieved so much and as individuals we have gained experiences unparalleled to class room education. It’s a huge challenge balancing course work and the team.
Leadership and communication is extremely important within the team, as the various departments must work together to put together mechanisms and parts. The team deal with all areas of the vehicle, from electronics and powertrain to chassis and suspension. A project of this scale requires a lot of time and delicacy.
Money is needed for parts, machining and competition fees. This is an expensive project, and being a group of students, we don’t have the money. Through fundraising and sponsorship deals, we hope to start the manufacture of our race car early 2019. We are hard at work to get the final design complete before the start of exams.
We believe we can bring the wider community together and bridge the gap between students and industry. With the support of others, we can cross the finish line at Silverstone UK and represent Irish engineering and motorsport in July 2018. We are thankful of our current sponsors and patrons.
Check out our website HERE for more information and cool insights!
Want to have your name on our race car? Donate to our GoFundMe and become a patron!