In just one year NTNU students have developed a race car: – We want to win

– The help and experience from GKN have been absolutely crucial for the success of our project, says Simen Tufte, a student at NTNU Trondheim and CME/technical leader for the mechanical team in the Revolve project.

Racing Car Project

Revolve NTNU is a voluntary student organization that designs, develops, and competes with a Formula Student racing car each year.

The project started in 2010 with a group of students who wanted more practical experience before entering the workforce. The first car was ready in 2012.

Since then, it has been continuously developed and improved by a new student team each year. This year, Revolve consists of 62 students from 19 different study programs.

Ever since he started high school, Simen Tufte has wanted to be part of the Revolve project.

– Some have a mechanical background, others electrical, some are involved in software, and others in economics. The students range from final-year students to those who have just started their studies, explains Simen.

He is the technical leader for the mechanical team.

– This means I follow up on the four mechanical groups in Revolve that work on the wing package, suspension, bodywork, and braking system.

– As CME, you coordinate and make decisions on technical design and goals, with input from members and alumni who have done similar things previously.

– In addition to this, part of the role involves talking to companies and participating in board meetings where budgeting and general “corporate governance” take place.

Enormous Development

A lot has happened since the first car was ready in 2012. Among other things, the car has transitioned from having a combustion engine and electric rear-wheel drive to having four electric motors, each driving one wheel.

– In the eight months since we started the project, a tremendous amount has happened. We have gone from having theoretical goals to designing a finished car, assembling physical parts, and completing a car.

Perseverance

Simen does not hide the fact that the past few months have been tough and that they have faced challenges along the way. For example, regulatory changes have caused headaches for the students.

– New requirements for part fittings came in. We had trouble with a gearbox that previously overheated, there were very long delivery times on several parts, and new systems that hadn’t been tested before.

Planning, perseverance, and dedication have been the keys to success.

– I find that all members have been working hard to get the car finished and ready for competition.

Dreaming of becoming top three

Every year, an engineering competition for students called Formula Student is held. Several hundred students from different countries around the world gather to compete in various theoretical and dynamic exercises. The automotive industry, Formula 1 judges, and professors from several universities serve as judges for the competition.

This year, the students will compete in Austria, Hungary, and Germany, alongside some of the best teams in the world.

Revolve aims to be among the very best. This year's goal is to place in the top three in all competitions we participate in, but for many, Germany will be the grand finale of the project year and the most important competition,

He admits that it is an ambitious goal, as they will compete against over 1,000 different international teams for 70 spots per competition.

– The biggest competitors get help from companies like BMW, VW, and Porsche. Being a small team from a nation without much automotive history does not give a competitive advantage, but we have a very strong technological industry that helps out with expertise and services in the project.

Praises Collaboration with Industry

GKN is among the industry players contributing as a partner in the Revolve project.

– In January, GKN visited us in Trondheim to hold courses in GPS and technical drawings. The courses are useful for learning how to create drawings, set requirements, and set tolerances, explains Simen Tufte.

He adds,

– A technical drawing is the contract between the designer and the company. Without a good drawing, it is not certain that the part will fulfill its intended function. Therefore, the knowledge GKN shares with the students is crucial for the further development of not only the project but each individual student.

The student racing car consists of about 4,000 parts, of which 500 are self-designed.

– It is very important to have good drawings to show how things should be made

Read more about Revolve

Important Collaboration with GKN

Simen praises GKN’s collaboration and ability to tailor training for the students.

– The prior knowledge of the technical members varies; some have never seen a technical drawing, while others have experience with it from before. This means that each member needs very different things to make effective drawings. GKN has addressed this by offering tailored follow-up and training.

For the Revolve project, GKN has contributed with knowledge, courses, follow-up after courses, and consultations.

– Good collaboration and feedback from GKN have been crucial for us to complete the drawings on time for production, explains Simen.

GKN as a Future Workplace

He believes many students might consider working at GKN Aerospace after finishing their studies. Simen highlights, among other things, the location in the Kongsberg Technology Park as an attractive workplace.

– It is an exciting employer. GKN is a company that shares many of the same passions as the members of Revolve. GKN Aerospace works with engines and services for the aviation industry and uses many different production methods to achieve this. It offers challenges and a pace that many find exciting to work with.

– Several members of Revolve have worked on designing aerodynamic elements for the wing package or performing structural analyses for machine parts. All of this is possible to work on at GKN. GKN is also located in Kongsberg, which means it is part of the Technology Park, which in turn means a larger network, opening up various interdisciplinary collaborations with the surrounding companies. I think it is important to be able to exchange experiences across different organizations, concludes Simen.