DUT Students Put Carbon Inside Race Car, Not in the Air!


 Have you ever heard of the Formula Student  competitions?  They’re run by the The Institute of Mechanical Engineers .  The objective is to:

[Build] future engineering talent by [having students] design and produce a single-seater racing car, not just in design and manufacture, but in many of the management, marketing and people skills so vital in the modern world, across all sectors of employment.

Amongst the European universities involved in designing, building and running cars for the Formula Student competitions, one team stands out as the  a serial winner.  Their reputation?  They’re high performers known for doing things differently.

The Delft University of Technology (DUT) Racing Team and their latest winning project, DUT08, in a few words:

DUT_2_01– 60 enthusiastic students
– More than 1600 parts designed with CATIA
– 90 % of the parts are produced by the team
– More fuel-efficient, better and faster car
– Known for its very lightweight and agile single cylinder engine
– Runs on E-85 (85% bio-ethanol)
I had the opportunity to interview some members of the DUT team. Their race car was exposed dressed with its beautiful coachwork and painted with the original Delftware pattern.

Nothing seemed unusual from the outside until I asked to see under the hood.

Here is what makes the DUT Racing Team famous across the continent and beyond:  While many teams tended to increase the power of their cars, the Delft students designed their car as aerospace engineers would design a flying machine.

Their first target was weight optimization and adjusting the power solution to achieve this goal. This strategy has led the Delft students to accumulate a world-class knowledge on carbon fiber technology.

DUT_7_02The lightweight car body in combination with its 1-cylinder engine is so efficient that the fuel consumption is 2-3 times lower than that of the other teams!
The DUT success story began in 2008, when the team won all the prizes for the most fuel efficient vehicle, using  Bio-Ethanol. A well-deserved reward for their innovation and research… Congratulation guys!

I think the DUT Racing Team’s  work proves that we can combine sustainability and performance.  You can find the full story and interview here

Are automotive OEMs making similar progress?  Will they be ousted by the DUT students?  😉

What do you think?



OlivierOlivier Ammoun works in the Dassault Systèmes education team.