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Springing into the New Year

Happy New year to all SHU Racing Supporters. Suspension is one of the most if not most important sub systems, when developing a car. The suspension dictates how the vehicle moves under acceleration, braking and how a fast the vehicle can take corners. In previous years the team has used two shocks front and rear coupled with a double wishbone system, this year the suspension manager has been experimenting with the use of three shocks front and rear and an anti-roll bar within in the system.

The extra shocks do not mean extra wheels, so unfortunately we will not be replicating the impressive Tyrell P34 6 wheeler F1 car this season. The job of the extra shocks or heave spring is to control the longitudinal forces experienced mostly during acceleration off the line (Squat) and under heavy braking going into a corner (Dive). When the car dives under braking the force acts through the centre of gravity causing the car to rotate, this instability is negated through the anti-dive geometry. However, using the wishbones puts great stress on them. Implementing a third shock allows greater control over dive and squat, while alleviating stress on the wishbones, a 50/50 setup is currently the design: 50% through the wishbones and 50% through the heave spring.

To access the heave spring from the motion of the traditional shocks, a linkage system is used to translate the forces to the heave spring. The connecting element of the system is a torsion bar, which pivots with the motion of the linkage while also resisting roll through the stiffness in bar, upon driving through a corner. The introduction of all these new concepts and systems has required the Suspension Lead to use Adams Car, a system dynamics solution which enables the team to simulate the suspension system in different scenarios, such as the skid pad event and how the aerodynamic devices affect the vehicle dynamics.

A Visit From a Celebrity

At the end of last semester, we also entertained Geri Halliwell-Horner for afternoon tea as she received her honorary degree from Sheffield Hallam. This was a fantastic opportunity for the team as we discussed long term projects of the team, such as EV development and encouraging diversity in the team; the team believes in equal opportunities for everyone in STEM and engaging in challenges such as Formula Student is a crucial way of doing that.

Meet The Team

Meet the Team is an opportunity for us to give you a chance to learn a little more about the people who make up SHU Racing. This week we are introducing Stephen Kneller our Suspension Department Lead. Stephen’s main contributions to the team this year include the development of Adams Car Models, helping build up the simulation tools available for the team and the development of multiple suspension concepts for this years car.

Name: Stephen Kneller

Age: 22

Course: Meng Aerospace Engineering

Role: Suspension Lead

Number of years with the Team: 1 year

Hobbies and Interests: Practicing and Competing in Obstacle Courses | F1

Favourite Car: McLaren Artura

Dream Job: Working within F1 | Designing rockets with SpaceX or NASA

Reasons for Joining SHU Racing: To expand my knowledge in this area of work while also gaining valuable experience in manufacturing and designing which I can use for the future.


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