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The University of Sussex

 22 October 2001 

Engineering moves up a gear at the University of Sussex

Engineering students at the University of Sussex have started a project to design, build and race a car as part of the Formula Student competition.

"This kind of project is really fundamental to studying automotive engineering," says Professor Richard Stobart. "It will help students develop all kinds of skills like team working and project management, as well as the communication and media skills they would need in a product development role."

Formula Student is a nationwide competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The aim of the competition is to build and race a car and also to develop a viable business plan that includes finance, engineering, communications and project management. Each summer, teams from all over the UK gather to race their cars and to be judged on all aspects of their design.

The competition by its very nature forces the team to draw in skills from beyond their immediate area of study. Building the car itself will require mechanical, electrical and software engineering skills. Designing the driver's controls will involve ergonomic considerations, while media and communications support is needed to publicise the team and to attract sponsors.

During the coming year the students will start a number of projects that will focus on the car's components and overall design. One group will tune and supercharge a Honda CBR600 engine, while other groups will look at chassis design, crash-protection and suspension. A group interested in product design will work on the external appearance and cockpit.

Automotive engineering is new to the University of Sussex, but the appointment of Richard Stobart as Professor of Automotive Engineering and the development of new courses aims to put teaching and research of this subject into top gear.

 Notes for editors 

Professor Richard Stobart can be contacted on 01273 606755 ext. 2631, email

For further information, please contact Alison Field or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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