Students at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering have invited students at other colleges to design, build, and then race their vehicles with gas-electric hybrid drive trains.
According to a Dartmouth news release, the inaugural Formula Hybrid Competition will be held May 1-3, 2007, at New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, NH. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Daytona Beach, FL, Illinois Institute of Technology, Colorado State University, Florida Institute of Technology, Yale University, McGill University, and Drexel University will join the Dartmouth students:
Along with inspiring students to pursue careers in hybrid-engine technology, the competition could lead to innovations in the field, said Formula Hybrid Director and Thayer School Research Engineer Douglas Fraser. “Students are notoriously able to come up with novel solutions. They don’t go in with preconceived notions. They sometimes launch off in directions that you think, ‘My God, that won’t work,’ and, lo and behold, it does.”
Thayer students have nbeen participating in the Formula SAE® program, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, which challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and compete with formula racecars. Teams from Thayer have taken part every year since 1995 and will enter an ethanol-fueled car in the competition, May 16th-20th at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, MI. Thayer had hoped to enter their first hybrid racecar in 2003, but changing rules disallowed hybrids. So, the students came up with a competition of their own… and both the SAE and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are sponsors of the new program.