School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

Monday, 6 February 2017

The engineering of motorsports: UQ Racing team compete in the annual FSAE-A competition

Alex Moore, Dual Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)/Commerce student and UQ Racing team member

The engineering of motorsports: UQ Racing team compete in the annual FSAE-A competition

Alex Moore, Dual Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)/Commerce student and UQ Racing team member

Established in 2001, the UQ Racing team has grown to more than 30 students with a range of backgrounds including engineering, business, commerce, journalism, IT and science.

Each year the team design and build efficient and unique cars to compete in the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineering Australasia (FSAE-A) competition.

Dual Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)/Commerce student and UQ Racing team member Alex Moore grew up racing motorcycles and has always been interested in the engineering of motorsports.

“When I found I had enough time in my schedule in the second year of my degree, I became involved with the UQ Racing team to gain experience,” Alex said.

“The experience of being on this team is priceless.

“I have learnt about actual practice as an engineer through the mistakes and self-learning that happens whilst designing, building and racing the cars.

“Projects such as these give students access to facilities and are a great opportunity to expand knowledge, skills and networks outside of formal study.”

The UQ Racing team competed in the annual FSAE-A competition in Melbourne in December 2016 and raced two cars.

The team’s preparation started in January 2016 with the design phase and then progressed into the manufacturing of components, which took place throughout the year.

“The vehicles were finished in November and a small amount of testing on track was completed.

“The team also had to prepare for the static events which are about the design, costing and marketing of the vehicles,” Alex said.

The UQ cars were designed completely by UQ students and are built on campus in the UQR workshop. The unique features of the internal combustion car included its double-beam axle design and structural undertray which are designed to optimise the vehicle’s aerodynamics.

The distinctive features of the second vehicle designed by the team – an electric vehicle-were the dual outboard motors on the rear 'electron beam' with the use of Gates Polychain belt drive with custom machined pulleys. These unique elements ensured the UQ Racing team cars would stand out from their opponents. 

“This year the Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland kindly assisted us financially to help subsidise our travel expenses for members travelling to the competition in Melbourne.”

Unfortunately, both vehicles experienced mechanical failures while at competition. However, the internal combustion vehicle finished 17th, received a commendable 8th in the design event and placed 2rd on the podium in the cost event. The electric vehicle placed 25th which was a commendable effort.

“I'd like to say a big thank you to The University of Queensland, the Faculty of EAIT, the Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland, all of our sponsors and supporters for their help this year and always.”

“We look forward to the team becoming bigger and better into the future,” said Mr Moore.

After completing his degree at UQ, Alex hopes to continue to follow his motorsports passion.

 “I'd love to go into the motorsport industry or alternatively into humanitarian engineering of sustainable systems,” he said.

For more information on how you can be involved with UQ Racing visit the website or Facebook page.