Every year the Society of Automotive Engineers holds a competition for college undergraduates to design an automotive vehicle. The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is both ensuring on-track safety (the cars are driven by the students themselves) and promoting clever problem solving.
This will be the University of Maine’s first effort at creating such a vehicle in several years, with part of the project incorporated as the senior design capstone experience for mechanical engineering seniors. Undergraduate members of the Formula SAE Club will be responsible for the design, construction, and implementation of the vehicle chassis, suspension, steering, braking systems, and vehicle aerodynamics. The senior design team, shown below, has been focusing on conducting a performance analysis of the team's engine.