Chassis & Composites
The Chassis and Composites team focuses primarily on the structure of the vehicle, driver ergonomics and control, and the cosmetic exterior shell. The frame is the skeleton of the racecar. Every other mechanical, and electronic component fastens to the frame in some way, using bolts, welds, and of course zip ties. Besides housing major components, the frame plays an important part in the driving dynamics of the car and the safety of its driver. On this subteam you will learn a lot about structural engineering, focusing on what considerations need to be made to make a strong, yet lightweight frame and how external torsional, shear, tension and compression forces affect it. The Chassis and Composites team also spends a significant amount of time manufacturing components for the car. You will learn, and hone in your skills in modeling, design, welding, and laying up composites such as carbon fiber. Besides the frame, this subteam deals with all things carbon fiber on the vehicle. Everyone knows carbon is cool, but on Schulich Racing you will learn the engineering benefits of this incredibly light and versatile material. You’ll be surprised as to how much carbon fiber is in this vehicle, there are obvious things like the bodywork, but you’ll find carbon fiber in the seat, steering wheel, steering column and more!
The Suspension sub-team is responsible for providing the maximum amount of grip possible to the vehicle. To achieve this we investigate the dynamics and kinematics of the vehicle as it corners and drives on track. Mathematical models are generated to simulate different on track simulations through which suspension components are developed. The Suspension sub-team heavily uses dynamics, kinematics, and material science to optimize the setup for traction, while also ensuring it’s as light as possible and compatible with the rest of the car. We also work alongside machinists and manufacturers to ensure that the parts are designed for manufacturing and manufactured correctly. Additionally, we are responsible for the tuning and setup of the suspension system. We iteratively test and tweak the suspension setup on track to optimize the performance of the vehicle. From spring rates, to wheel alignment, to tire pressures, to anti-roll stiffness, to damper rates, we tune a large number of variables to improve performance. The suspension team provides an excellent opportunity to develop SolidWorks, design, and manufacturing skills while working on a variety of projects.
The Powertrain sub-team is responsible for generating and transmitting power to the wheels of the car. We strive to optimize the volumetric efficiency of the engine while maintaining a lightweight and cost effective setup. There are a multitude of factors ranging from injection timing to exhaust header length that have a direct impact on engine power, so it is critical that we design and tune the entire system properly. Powertrain designers use knowledge from a variety of engineering disciplines including material properties, dynamics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer. Each component in the powertrain is multifaceted and has its own design challenges, each of which must be overcome to produce a well performing package. In addition to mechanical design, we also spend a significant amount of time testing and tuning the car to optimize performance. Our next endeavour will be designing and implementing a fully electrical powertrain for a future vehicle alongside the electrical sub-team.
The Electrical team at Schulich Racing develops all electronic systems on the car. It ranges from wiring harness, ergonomics, to power management. Just like on any road car, we need to develop a harness that provides power from the battery and signals to all power components. We work in conjunction with the Powertrain team on the accumulator, power transmission, and motor control unit, as well as develop on board computers to create a functioning system for both the driver and the rest of the team in the pits. We program microcontrollers for custom indicators for the driver, as well as programming our data acquisitions system to interface with the sensors used by all the other sub-teams, whether it’s linear potentiometers to measure suspension travel, or thermocouples to confirm cooling effectiveness of the powertrain, the Electrical team is involved. We develop hands-on experience with hardware, software, and everything in between. Teamwork and communication are key, as is the drive and commitment to a job done right the first time.
The software team develops systems to support and enhance the abilities of our other sub-teams. Our primary focus is an innovative web-based telemetry system that stores, annotates, and analyzes data in real-time and post hoc. The goal is to provide the rest of the team with the data they need to make effective, informed decisions while presenting it in a useful, readable form. After wrapping up the core functionality of our telemetry system, we're now focused on expanding the feature set to fit the specific needs of the other sub-teams.
As one of the largest software teams in FSAE, we strive to be leaders at the forefront of this space. While expanding on our first-of-its-kind telemetry system, we are also scoping out new, exciting projects that will allow us to continue pushing the boundary of how software fits into FSAE competitions.
The Aerodynamics Subteam focuses on improving vehicle dynamics in pursuit of optimizing the car for the technical tracks seen at FSAE competitions. Through manipulation of the air flowing around the car, our members work to create a well balanced down force package aimed at improving the car's handling characteristics. Developments in our aerodynamics package have directly contributed to the increase in vehicle performance we see in the SR20 and proves the importance of further investment in this technical domain.
Ideation of the specific components of the package is initialized using CFD tools to generate an approximation of the impacts it will have on the overall vehicle. With this information, we are able to work with the rest of the team to generate a set of aerodynamic components that benefit the other subsystems implemented on the car. Several aspects our subteam prioritizes include meeting the designated down force goal for increased handling performance, maintaining a low overall coefficient of drag, and manufacturing a lightweight and strong construction. The subteam members continue to develop and deploy their understanding of fluid dynamics, proper CFD implementation, on track air flow validation, and use of light weight composite materials to efficiently direct forces from the aerodynamic elements to the rest of the car. By implementing a strong understanding of these concepts, we are able to constantly push the design of the air foils, bodywork, and auxiliary components that complete the aerodynamics package. The Aerodynamics Subteam gives the avenue for members to explore the effects of optimizing airflow characteristics on a formula student car.
Business Development / Media
As a self-sufficient student run team, it is important that our business operations are conducted efficiently. This is the primary responsibility of the business development team. The business team works hard to procure and manage the resources needed to keep Schulich Racing firing on all cylinders. Our members take charge of sponsorship and vendor relations, financial management, media exposure, community outreach, and event planning.
Building race cars is expensive. The role of sponsorship members is to grow sponsor retention and continuously seek out new sponsors. Members are required to fulfil the agreements signed with sponsors, and to provide stakeholders with updates about the team. Internal finances of the team focus on managing incoming and outgoing expenses, and provide up-to-date monthly financial reports. Budgeting allows us to spend appropriately and ensure we build financial sustainability for years to come. Our media members are always looking to give more exposure to the team, the FSAE competition, and Schulich Racing sponsors. Social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow us to broadcast to a large demographic. Consistent media content is captured and provided throughout the year to fulfill sponsor needs and keep followers engaged. Finally, the team participates in career fairs, parades, and other community events that allow students on the team to connect with members of the community and grow Schulich Racings’ brand.