The Kettering University Formula SAE team had its best showing in school history at the Formula SAE Michigan 2013 event at Michigan International Speedway May 8-11 at Michigan International Speedway.
The team finished in 15th place overall out of 108 participating teams, the best a Kettering University team has ever done in a Formula SAE competition. Teams are judged in several categories, including cost, presentation, design, acceleration, skid pad, autocross, endurance and fuel efficiency.
Kettering’s team placed first overall in fuel efficiency, sixth overall in cost and tied for 11th in design. The team also won first in the FEV Powertrain Development Award, which is presented to three teams that designed, developed and demonstrated exemplary powertrain solutions in the competition.
The Kettering University Formula SAE team at MIS. Photo courtesy of Formula SAE team.
“The team carried the synergy needed throughout the year to do well and work together to achieve our goals, which yielded great results at the competition,” said Corbett Ogletree, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Muncie, Ind., who is the team leader. “It has been an amazing experience to be a part of the team’s success as the 2013 team leader, along with our Chief Engineer Will Carter. I couldn't be more proud of everyone on the team for their work on the 2013 car. When we finished endurance, the last event and the event worth the most points, it made all the time I spent doing Formula SAE related things worth it.”
Ogletree credited the team’s ability to secure more monetary and material contributions and sponsorships as a key to the team’s success this season as well as input from faculty adviser Dr. Craig Hoff, Mechanical Engineering department head.
“Dr. Hoff was crucial to keeping our radical ideas in check and was a good voice of reason in our decision-making,” Ogletree said.
The Formula SAE car during competition at MIS. Photo courtesy of Dr. Craig Hoff.
“What made this team successful was that the strong core of experienced team members that knew what needed to be done from past seasons,” Hoff said. “In particular I would like to praise the work of the chief engineer Will Carter and team leader Corbett Ogletree. Both went above and beyond to make this team a success. Not just by the work they did on the car, but also the work that they did on growing and developing the team."
The team -- though still smaller than most of the other teams at the competition -- did see some growth this season, which also helped. Along with Ogletree and Carter, other team members are: Will Adair, Andrew Phillips, Andrew Smallman, Charles Mancino, Arman Muse, Ryan Boukzam, Ryan Webster, Matthew Birt, William Schneider, Mike Cox, Adam Watson, Alex Ripstein, Yu (Sean) Wang, Andrew Palardy, Chris Greene, Abraham Paul, Noah Gagnon, Chris Dutro and Jennie Purdy.
Ogletree believes that the strong showing in the competition bodes well for the future and potentially opens up more opportunities to obtain sponsorships.
“We have proven that with enough hard work, we can do well with the budget we have,” Ogletree said. “Going forward obtaining more money for our budget will greatly increase the chances of success in addition to reducing the impact on our team members’ school terms and work terms.
The time investment for what we do is enormous, so by having a successful design we can use that as a starting point for the next season. I believe our team is heading in a very promising direction and we hope to put Kettering University back on the map as the automotive school.”