The need for speed

WUSTL engineering students design, build Formula SAE race car

Washington University in St. Louis students Matthew Monson (left), a junior in mechanical engineering, and Achal Upadhyaya (center), a senior in mechanical engineering, unveil May 7 WUSTL’s entry in Formula SAE, a student competition to design and drive a Formula-style race car organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The WUSTL car runs on E85 (a fuel blend with 85 percent ethanol) and is built of advanced composite materials and features pushbutton shifting. Having just finished finals and the car’s construction simultaneously, the team was on its way to the Michigan International Speedway. There, the car competed against 120 teams in skidpad, acceleration, autocross and endurance events. The WUSTL entry performed well until the last event, when the car lost its steering after the first lap of an endurance test. The WUSTL team was started in 2002 and built a car in ’05, ’07 and ’11, as well as this year. This is the second time the team has built a car from start to finish in one year. (Credit: David Kilper)