University of Malta Racing (UoMR) is a student’s association with a difference in that it designs and builds racing cars. Its history goes back to 2007, when it used to be known as the Maltese Falcon Racing Team, which took part in the first formula SAE and competed with its own racing car in Fiorano, Italy. The Formula SAE is organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The UoMR organisation was officially formed in 2012. The organisation is made up of approximately 60 students from eight faculties, where its executive committee is made up of two major teams: business and engineering.
All the members of the team are determined to work towards the organisation’s main aim of competing on an international scale. To compete on such a level, the team has to build their own car which takes a great amount of planning. Such an endeavour requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving the application of various fields including technological, engineering and material science.
Every detail must be taken into consideration and all the designs are first computerised using a software programme, and through the use of simulations the designs can be modified accordingly. When the planning is ready, the chassis is created whereby a mock-up is first produced so that members of the team can get some practice with the art of welding. The parts are then slowly assembled, from the engine to the electronics of the car, as the fitting of the turbo and engine requires a great deal of time.
This year’s engine has been modified and even though most of the parts are bought and brought over from abroad, UoMR have the ambition to start developing more parts to minimise the costs. The association is currently working on its third car which it will debut in the SAE competition in Italy in the coming months.
UoMR amalgamates research with product development and some students within the organisation have dedicated their thesis to auto motor research. The driver also holds a very important role in the competition, and a series of badger karting events have been organised to choose the driver. Ten have been shortlisted so far.
The car is soon to undergo its first testing, where teams are then judged on a variety of criteria from engineering design to business plans and cost reporting to putting cars against each other on the track. What is inspiring to watch is that these students from different faculties are collaborating together and acquiring skills and hands-on experience with research and the industry.
If you find the world of auto motor exciting and have further queries, you can contact the association on email@example.com, visit their website at www.uomracing.com or check their Facebook page www.facebook.com/UoMRacing.
Did you know!
• A horseless mechanised cart was sketched by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500s and like many of his designs, it wasn’t built in his lifetime.
• A Formula One car’s exhaust can reach temperatures of around 950oC, hot enough to melt aluminium.
• The 0-60mph electric car world record is held by a Formula SAE car.
• The frog’s tongue is sticky so as to wrap it around its prey. Once it catches the prey the tongue snaps back and throws the food down its throat.
• Marshmallow was made from the mallow plant (Athaea officinalis) that grows wild in marshes.
For more trivia see: www.um.edu.mt/think
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• For more soundbites listen to Radio Mocha on Radju Malta 2 every Monday at 1pm and Friday at 6pm https://www.facebook.com/RadioMochaMalta/
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