Preparing for the Road Ahead

by Public Relations

Many people credit Henry Ford with the creation of the automobile when, in fact, he discovered ways to improve the already-invented contraption and make it more affordable. By using frugal methods of manufacturing, like the assembly line, Ford revolutionized personal transportation. When asked about the nature of his corporate success, he said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” The Cedarville University Jackets Racing team — a group of senior engineering majors working together to build a better racecar — understand this concept well.

These Cedarville students design, manufacture and race open-wheeled racecars in Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) competitions. The 2009-10 team consists of 14 senior mechanical engineering students, each belonging to one of five sub-teams: chassis, suspension, engine, composites, and drive train. Just as it takes all of these components to produce a well-manufactured racecar, each team member is vital to the building process.

“I have learned to transition from analyzing a component to being part of a group of engineers who design hundreds of components to fit together into one, well-functioning system.” says senior Co-captain Scott Bardakjy, “That system must comply to thousands of stipulations, rules and requirements. Teamwork and communication are essential skills for a successful engineer, and the Jackets Racing team has helped me grow in these areas.”

In May of 2010, the Jackets Racing team will again compete at the Brooklyn (Mich.) International Speedway where last year they placed 45th. They look to place in the top 20, reducing the car’s weight by 20 pounds, improving the engine torque curve, redesigning the front and rear suspension, and implementing a first-time data acquisition system.

The team has received monetary and material donations from the following sponsors: Delphi, Dorothy Meeker, DRP Performance, Haltech, Ingersoll Rand, MAS Epoxies, Mason and Barry, Inc., MOR/ryde, Muriel Dockstader, Neal Fearnot, Nu-Way Industries, and TriMont REA. If you are interested in sponsoring the Cedarville University Jackets Racing team, please contact Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, at 937-766-3259.