Formula Student team visit Lotus F1

Left to right,  Tim Brooming, Matt McConnell , James Tatham,  Mijan Uddin and Jack Muchemi

Left to right, Tim Brooming, Matt McConnell , James Tatham, Mijan Uddin and Jack Muchemi

Formula Student team visit Lotus F1

Five University of Portsmouth students have spent the day learning the secrets of speed at the Lotus Formula One Headquarters. The students, who are all studying Mechanical Engineering, learnt how the F1 team uses specialist software to help develop their cars. The Star ccm+ CFD software models airflow in and around the car to help improve its aerodynamics.

The students’ visit was part of their involvement in Formula Student, a competition in which student engineers compete to design, build and race a single seat racing car in one year.  Students from Portsmouth have taken part over the last 5 years, competing against universities from around the world. Competition is fierce with tight margins between teams so any advantage is sought.

The university has purchased the specialist Star ccm+ software to help future teams compete. It will also be used on other student projects such as one in investigating sail aerodynamics with Ben Ainslie Racing in which Portsmouth students are also involved.

Lecturer on the Mechanical Engineering course, Dr Jason Knight, said: “Aerodynamics plays a key part in the performance of racing cars and it was great to see how Lotus are using the software to improve performance of their F1. Formula Student is extremely competitive and having new software ourselves will help our Formula Student team to improve the aerodynamics of next year’s car and help move them ‘up the grid.’ We will see!”

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