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Clarkson Formula SAE Team Posts Second Straight Top-25 Finish
POTSDAM, N.Y. – For the second consecutive year, Clarkson University's Formula SAE racing team posted a top-25 finish at the recent Formula SAE competition in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The Formula Knights placed 24th in a field of 85 teams from all over North America.
Formula SAE (formerly known as Mini-Indy) is an annual contest co-sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and Detroit's "Big Three" of General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford. Formula cars, designed, built and tested by college students, are judged in three major categories: static inspection and engineering design, solo-performance trails, and high-performance track endurance.
The hot Michigan weather played havoc with most of the participants' entries, causing engine troubles for some schools, and Clarkson was no exception. The Formula Knights' hopes for its #55 car nearly went up in smoke seconds after the green flag was dropped in the endurance race. With help from Clarkson alum Bob Zwaap '97 and the loan of an oscilloscope from Cornell student Jim McGovern, Clarkson team members Brian Peltzer ('99, electrical and civil engineering, Fairlawn, N.J.), Craig Reynolds ('99, electrical and civil engineering, Walworth, N.Y.) and Ben Lunt ('98, mechanical and aeronautical engineering, Salem, Mass.) were able to trace and fix the electrical problem that threatened their efforts. The team's 23rd-place finish in the event was good enough to help them move up 30 places in the overall standings.
In other individual events, Clarkson made impressive showings in the skid pad event, finishing 17th, and in the acceleration event, finishing 20th.
Clarkson's Formula SAE team is a part of the University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. All Clarkson students get an opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary project-based teams. Each team, comprising students from multiple disciplines and varying skills, constitute a project-based learning community. SPEED receives major financial support from General Electric and General Motors, making it possible for the team to participate in Auburn Hills.
Also participating in this year's event were mechanical and aeronautical engineering students Joel Bassani ('99 Lafayette, N.Y.); Andy Berryann ('01, Averill Park, N.Y.); Greg Cooper ('99, Skaneateles, N.Y.); Matt Davis ('99, Ellsworth, Maine) and Mark Hebel ('01, Grantville, Pa.); economics student Anthony Huebner ('99, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); and environmental science and policy student Michael Smart ('00, Syracuse, N.Y.). Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor John Moosbrugger (Hannawa Falls, N.Y.) was the team's adviser.