Aussie students are Formula 1’s world champions in STEM competition

    Formula 1 have been running a worldwide competition for school students to help get them excited and to find future engineers for the sport. Four of our very own awesome Australians have won the competition to design and race a miniature Formula 1 car. The competition actually gave away licences for Autodesk Software to teams as part of the program.

    Team Hyperdrive beat 50 teams from 27 countries to become World Champions and received the award for the Best Engineered Car. That’s a great little Aussie success story and specs to future engineering talent we have coming through our education system. The team was made up of Trinity Grammar students Alec Alder, Kyle Winkler, David Greig and Hugh Bowman. Remember those names Australia, you’re likely to hear a lot more from them in the years ahead. The team had to engineer, manufacture and race a miniature Formula 1 car at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur last month.

    Swinburne PhD students Nalin Randeniya and Andrew Danylec provided expert engineering, technical and technological support to the team.

    David, the aerodynamics engineer, performed many Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations as well as a lot of research and testing on different shapes and design concepts. Continuous aerodynamic refinement and evolution was key to minimise drag and create efficiency, ultimately resulting in the win.

    Those aerodynamics helped the car speed down the scale track in just 1.109s, with the amazing reaction time of 0.160s the total time on Day 3 of the finals was 1.269. Watch the video below to see how amazingly fast these cars are.

    The technical support to Team Hyperdrive was facilitated by Dr Ambarish Kulkarni, who supervises Mr Raneniya and Mr Danylec at Swinburne’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Product Design Engineering.

    The F1 in Schools World Finals 2017 Awards Celebration is available on the F1 in Schools YouTube Channel. Skip to 2:29.30 to see our Aussie champions announced as the winners.

    As winners of the 2017 competition, each member of Team Hyperdrive has been awarded scholarships to City University of London and the University College of London (UCL). Team manager, Mr Bowman describes the win as Team Hyperdrive’s proudest moment since it formed in 2015.

    “Our greatest achievement is becoming World Champions, against millions of students globally. But also winning the Best Engineered Car award on the global stage is a credit to Kyle and David’s work. It wouldn’t have been possible without Swinburne’s insight.”

    Mr Randeniya says he played a role in connecting the Hyperdrive team with the individuals who provided the technical support.

    “I found the right people and have organized meetings to introduce them to each other,”

    Formula 1 CEO, Chase Carey, attended the event and shared his excitement for the future of engineering. Speaking to the competitors, he said,

    “The passion, the intelligence, the creativity, the maturity that you guys have shown, it’s just incredible”

    If our future is in your hands, we’ve got a great future in this world..

    Speaking on behalf of Formula 1, we couldn’t be prouder of Formula 1 in Schools, it is our official education initiative.”

    Here’s a photo of the designs from other teams courtesy of Liam Whiteley.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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