[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]
Within the university there are hundreds of societies, organisations and teams that strive to be outstanding in their field and take pride in representing the University of Hertfordshire. Arguably, one of the greatest success stories belongs to UH Racing.
The team was founded in 1997 by University of Hertfordshire students in order to compete in the inaugural UK Formula Student event and have continued to grow and develop in the years since. Formula Student, an international engineering design competition, challenges teams to deliver a complex and integrated product within the demanding environment of a motorsport competition. It consists of a series of Static and Dynamic events designed to test both the performance of the car and the understanding of the team, with each car being assigned a score out of 1000.
UH Racing are the most successful UK Formula Student team of all time, and have high ambitions to become the first British team to win a Formula Student competition. Proof of their success can be seen in their countless achievements over the past 18 years; with awards ranging from the ‘Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Award for the Best Internal Combustion Engine Installation’ to the ‘Award for Best Use of CAD in Car Design’.
Operations Manager, James Smith, explained that “the success of UH Racing was actually the major factor behind [his] decision to come to the University of Hertfordshire.” Smith felt that the “expertise and experience” he would gain from the organisation would be “more beneficial than [his] degree, when applying for a graduate placement.”
The team have been proud designers, builders and racers of over 20 different cutting edge cars including petrol and class winning alternate powertrain cars utilising electricity and hydrogen. The team’s current car, UH17, was recently showcased at the university’s STEM Careers Fair, celebrating science, technology, engineering and maths. The team were able to talk with fellow students and make them aware of what Student Formula is and how people can get involved.
Consisting of a variety of different students, studying a range of courses from across the university, the UH Racing team allows people to contribute in many different ways. There are an endless list of roles, ranging from the Team Leaders and Managers, to Engineers and PR staff. The project is not exclusive to engineers, people from other schools are actively encouraged to join, as media, business and marketing are vital to the success of UH Racing. Compared to international competitors such as Delft or Stuttgart, the team have a relatively low budget considering the amount of money needed in the process of designing, building, racing and maintaining a car. They are reliant on sponsors and partners to supply them with both investment and expertise. They also provide specialised workshops and lectures in order to maximise the team’s knowledge and winning opportunities.
Team Leader, Ross Craig, also echoed the advantages of being a part of UH Racing and said that it was “a great opportunity for everyone to experience the social and academic side of an engineering project.” Craig explained that whilst it is fun designing and building their own car, “the depth of knowledge gained is fantastic.”
The organisation is extremely active and is constantly travelling to events and conferences around the country in order to expand their knowledge and to interact with other Formula Student teams. Despite the strong rivalry with Bath and Oxford Brookes, every team around the country is very supportive, and are often found helping each other out at races and events.
Team alumni have found work at a wide range of prestigious companies such as Aston Martin, Lotus and PCu3ed and are proud to have a graduate working for every Formula One team.
UH Racing are currently working on the newest addition to their car collection. UH18 will continue to utilise and develop the single cylinder KTM 450 SXF engine, first seen in the UH17 car, which will be packaged in a newly optimised steel tubular space frame chassis. A new aerodynamic package is already being simulated to ensure compliance with the stricter rule changes being enforced this season and orders are being compiled to allow manufacture of the car to begin, hopefully allowing plenty of building and testing time before they formally unveil their new creation in June.
If you’re interested in UH Racing and want to find out more, check them out at their website racing.herts.ac.uk, or on Facebook and Twitter @UHRacing