For a number of years there has been interest with a number of the students in participating in the Formula SAE competition. This has generally been considered to be too costly for the department and too large of a project for the size of the department. However, as the enrollment has increased and several new engine designs have been successful in the competition and opportunity has arisen for UMaine to participate in the Formula SAE. The proposed engine development platform is the first step in a new effort by the department to expand the project efforts to include Formula SAE.
One piece of infrastructure that is critical to the development of this project is a dynamometer cell. This project starts with the availability of curriculum fee money, $8500 for the dyno and $4000 for ventilation improvements in Crosby Lab. The team will be responsible for setting up a dyno cell, developing the required infrastructure and facilities and testing a brand new crate 2-cylinder engine. This team will also be responsible for the design of an efficient drive train that can be used in the 2011 team car. If the team decides to work hard and race a car, that is their concern. The project is focused on the development of a dyno cell which will be critical to the overall efforts with the car.