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Making a BIG impact

It has been another interesting week in the lab as the chassis build continues and parts are being manufactured, we take a look at the extra work conducted by the chassis team in preparation for Silverstone.


On Thursday Martin Sowerby, our chassis manager, and Jack Holmes, a member of the chassis team, went to Cranfield Impact Centre (CIC), who specialise in testing the results of vehicles and occupants in crash situations, to undertake testing on this year’s impact attenuator (IA).

The rules of Formula Student state that each vehicle must include an IA at the front of the car and of a particular size, to absorb any impact from the front of the car to keep as much force away from the driver as possible. The IA is made using a honeycomb aluminium layered in a pyramid to dissipate the load evenly through the chassis.

The IA must be tested with the vehicle of 300 kg impacting a barrier at 7 m/s. The IA must then decelerate the vehicle at less than an average of 20g and a peak lower than 40g as well as absorbing more than 7350 Joules.

2019 was the first time SHU Racing had designed our own IA, and whilst it did pass, this year Martin is looking at improving the overall characteristics whilst keeping the IA as light as possible, opting for carbon fibre between the aluminium honeycomb, shown on the left, whilst also testing an IA with thicker aluminium between the layers. Having returned with results and crumpled test pieces the outlook for this year’s design is looking very positive with both designs meeting all the required regulations.


Meet the Team

The meet the team portion of our newsletter is a chance for you to gain an insight into the team and its members. This week we welcome Oliver Moxon, an MSc student on the team who is part of the Bodywork and Aero department.

Name: Oliver Moxon

Age: 24

Course: Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc.

Team role: Bodywork/Aero team member

Hobbies and interests: Motorsport, Cricket, Golf, Cooking, Football, American Football, Films, Cars.

Favourite artist: Twin Atlantic.

Favourite car: Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 with the white/green/red livery for the world endurance championship.

Favourite thing about Sheffield: The walk from my flat to uni is surprisingly beautiful when you take the time to notice and appreciate it. Also having lived away from Yorkshire for the past 6 years, it feels like I'm at home living in Sheffield. The parks and gardens also make for a very peaceful and pleasant walk.

Reasons for joining SHU racing: As someone who has always had a passion for motorsport, I knew I would want to be involved in the Formula Student Team. I felt like the experience I have from work and my undergrad degree could be put to good use within the team. Not many people know this but my initial plan was to join the Chassis team but when I spoke to Matt the team lead, he made me see my knowledge could be put to more use within the Aero/Bodywork team. I love how inclusive the SHU team is and my experience working with the Aero/Bodywork team has been fantastic. I have relished the opportunity to pass my knowledge on to the guys around me, hopefully making it easier for them to make bigger improvements in future years. I have also learnt a lot from the team that will allow me to be a better engineer in the future.

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