UVic Formula Hybrid Team wins big at international event

By Quinn Nurmeste

If you are anything like me before I started volunteering with the University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid Team, you will have no idea that for the last twelve months, in a nondescript building on the outer reaches of the UVic campus, there was an open wheeled hybrid race car taking shape, being designed and fabricated by engineering students from many specialized disciplines working and learning together.

You would have no idea that those students had invested their extremely limited free time and energy building that vehicle so it could compete at the international Formula Hybrid Competition in Loudon, New Hampshire. And you would have absolutely no idea that at that competition, the UVic Hybrid Team would compete against 34 other schools from around the world and come out victorious.

Despite the limited awareness surrounding them, the UVic Hybrid Team is one of the most successful clubs on campus, where there is a place for all students and non-students alike.

UVic’s Formula Hybrid Team is a student-run and funded team of engineers from mechanical, electrical, software, and computer science disciplines whose common goal is to work together to build a Formula Hybrid vehicle.

The team is solely responsible for acquiring the necessary funding and developing relationships with sponsors, designing all the components of the vehicle, and fabricating it from the ground up. The focus isn’t just on designing and building a hybrid car, but also on stepping up to the challenges of optimizing technological innovations.

We are also committed to building relationships within the greater community, and to giving back. Alumni from the UVic Hybrid Team are consistently highly desired engineers due to their experience with team management and marketing. Once the vehicle is completed and tested, the goal is to take it to the prestigious Formula Hybrid Competition, from where we just returned on May 6th.

Before the competition this year, our team was anxiously optimistic. The team had made some daring design choices that we were hoping would pay off. Most taxing was using an energy storage system that is quite a bit different than last season’s lithium ion battery, called an ultracapacitor, which exchanges energy rapidly without diminishing its usable lifespan and weighs about half of what our battery system weighed last year.

We arrived at competition early in the morning on May 1st, with many inspections and challenges to face in the upcoming days. The UVic Hybrid Team immediately excelled and passed all inspections faster than any other hybrid team. We were also the most successful hybrid car at the grueling endurance race, a race that challenges the vehicle to drive 44 one-kilometer laps around a track.

On top of that, we also received a perfect score from the demanding design review event. By the end of competition, our hard work paid off: the UVic Hybrid Team not only won the hybrid class of the Formula Hybrid competition, but also won the Doug Gore Memorial Chassis Design Award, the General Motors Best Engineered Propulsion System Award, and the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Industrial Design Award. We could not be more pleased with our accomplishments or more grateful to everyone that helped to make them possible.

The University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid Team has a role for everyone. Whether you’re interested in designing and building the vehicle or just in meeting some incredible people and gaining great job experience, there is a place for you.

We are already starting to prepare for the 2017 season, so there is always a lot to do. We always welcome new members, so if you feel like becoming a part of one of the most successful teams on campus, stop by the Q Hut. Come help us make next year as successful as this one.

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3 Responses

  1. John Tedham says:

    This is amazing! Congratulations!

  2. Maxwell says:

    Congrats from Max (12).

  3. Kawaljit Singh says:

    Wow! Pure Awesomeness!!