Embry-Riddle Students Unveil Formula-Style Racecar for International Competition May 2

ERAU Motorsports to be One of 120 Collegiate Teams from Around the World Racing at Michigan International Speedway May 11-14. The ERAU Motorsports Club at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus will unveil its first-ever student designed and built open-wheel, high performance Formula SAE® racecar Monday, May 2, at 5 p.m. in the Henderson Welcome Center. The racecar will then compete against 119 teams from around the world at the Michigan International Speedway May 11-14.

The small Formula SAE racer weighs in at only 450 lbs. It is powered by a Honda 600 cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine and has a top speed of 130 mph. 

The Embry-Riddle racecar was designed and built by ERAU Motorsports Club team members in the College of Engineering’s High Performance Vehicles Lab. By first using 3D digital modeling software, students were able to virtually create and analyze every aspect of the design and manufacturing process. They fabricated the chrome-moly steel chassis and custom parts for the vehicle, modified engine components to achieve enhanced performance and completed the final assembly.

The 13-member student team is composed of undergraduate and graduate students from the Mechanical EngineeringAviation Maintenance ScienceAerospace Engineering and Business Administration programs.

“There have been many sleepless nights trying to get this racecar built and running,” said Alec Schrok, Mechanical Engineering major and corporate relations lead for the ERAU Motorsports Club. “If it wasn’t for the hard work of team lead Mark Kaufman (M.E.), project manager Keith Diringer (M.E.), machinist Tucker Hawkinson (M.E.), welder Andrew Goodwin (A.M.S.) and countless other team members, we would not have been successful.”

Learn more about the Embry-Riddle Motorsports entry in the Formula SAE competition.

Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly Society of Automotive Engineers). Over the course of three days, collegiate teams from throughout North America will have their racecars judged in a series of static and dynamic events, including technical inspection, cost, presentation, engineering design, solo performance trials and high performance track endurance. These events are scored to determine how well the car performs.

“Formula SAE is a great way for students to apply what they learn in the classroom. More importantly, they learn to be accountable and actually get things done, to make decisions and to turn ideas and talk into a functioning system with a million details,” said Formula SAE advisor and staff research engineer David Spitzer. “These lessons are valued by every career recruiter in every industry, and cannot be taught in the classroom.”

Embry-Riddle Motorsports Formula SAE sponsors include Blue and Gold Partners AeroShell, the Embry-Riddle Student Government Association and the College of Engineering. The team’s pit crew partner is Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. Additional partners include 3D Material Technologies, AlphaGraphics, Crane Cams, Magna International, SKF, Robertson Racing, Aurora Bearing Company, TST Industries, Dailey Engineering, American Performance Engineering, and Brown and Miller Racing Solutions.


A design studio and two vehicle development bays make the Department of Mechanical Engineering’sHigh Performance Vehicle Laboratory the hub of motorsports activity at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. Students have access to 10 computer workstations with the latest engineering design tools, networked to the university’s supercomputer in the design studio.

Currently, the world’s only all-female motorsports team (ERAU’s Women’s Baja SAE Team) occupies one design bay, while the other is used by the Embry-Riddle Formula SAE Team, which finished fifth among college teams from around the world in the 2013 Formula Hybrid Team competition with its open-wheel, open-cockpit, single-seat hybrid-electric vehicle.

In addition to housing these two student-driven competition teams, the laboratory supports graduate and undergraduate research; Ignite organization grants; and other campus and outside grants dealing with projects related to advanced materials, vehicle dynamics, engines and alternative fuels, and aerodynamics. Ignite Organization Grants are available to fund research projects of up to $10,000 for groups of students who are involved in research-based student organizations on the Daytona Beach Campus.


Formula SAE promotes careers and excellence in engineering as it encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and finances. Formula SAE takes students out of the classroom and allows them to apply textbook theories to real work experiences.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.