ECU motorsport team racing ahead
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
The 2011 ECU car in action in the autocross event.
ECU’s motorsport team has finished a best-ever third in the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers - Australasia (FSAE-A) competition in Werribee, Victoria.
It follows consistent improvements in the past four years since ECU started participating in the competition, finishing 16th in 2008, sixth in 2009,fifth in 2010 and now third in 2011.
The team finished first in the design category and scored strongly in the acceleration, autocross and endurance tests.
The FSAE competition is held annually and attracts teams from around Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
All WA teams saw performance improvements this year, with UWA jumping from 21st position in 2010 to second in 2011. Curtin improved on its 13th position in 2010 to eighth in 2011.
The open-wheel cars are constructed by the students and are judged against a variety of categories, including cost, design, performance and economy.
Head of School of Engineering Professor Daryoush Habibi said ECU’s School of Engineering has gained respect from other universities and engineering organisations for placing so highly, despite only establishing the mechanical engineering program in 2009.
“I congratulate our FSAE team for their dedication and commitment to pursue excellence, and for raising ECU’s flag high among engineering schools, not just in Australasia, but worldwide,” Professor Habibi said.
“We believe that this is just the beginning, and that much more success will come our way in the years ahead across all areas of teaching and research in engineering, as evident from our excellent research output which is in par with national and international benchmarks.”
ECU’s team spent the entire academic year working on the car. They designed the honeycomb chassis, fabricated many of the parts and utilised state-of-the-art equipment to build and tune the Honda CBR600 engine, including using the ECU engine dyno – one of only a handful in Western Australia.
This year’s car featured the green and gold livery of the original Brabham-Taurnac Repco car which won the 1966 and 1967 Formula One driver’s and constructor’s world championships.
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering student Daniel Moreira was one of the drivers in this year’s competition, piloting the car in the endurance and autocross disciplines.
“The fact that there is a lot of practical work involved in this course is one of the highlights,” Daniel said.
“It’s essential in the motorsports industry to have had hands-on, practical work. You can learn all the theory and all the formulas and calculations that you need to do, but actually applying them through the car and making it work is another story. Here at ECU we have all the facilities we need to machine parts for the car and that helps a lot in gaining that experience.”
The motorsport team welcomes all ECU students to help in the program each year, from engineering and mechanical engineering courses, as well as those studying marketing, PR, design and business courses.
For more information on the motorsport program, visit Reach Your Potential.