The University Of Auckland Formula Sae Team

Tech Night 2019 brings Formula SAE alumni and sponsors to Newmarket

On Wednesday July 24, our Formula SAE team opened its garage doors to sponsors, alumni, family and friends for its annual Tech Night event.

Unlike Launch Night where we celebrate a year of hard work for our Formula SAE team, Tech Night is a progress check. The event is aimed at the many generous sponsors who supply the team with tools and materials, as well as friends and family who are encouraged to tour the workshop and have a look at how the cars are built.

Members of the 55-strong team were on hand to guide visitors through the workshop’s extensive facilities, while an array of cars from the team’s history were on display, many with display boards outlining their specs. Last year’s M018 was given special treatment and propped up on stands in the workshop, showing the evolution from early petrol-powered designs to the sleek electric-powered example that had a successful outing in Melbourne last year.

One of the team’s Faculty Advisors Dr Tom Allen praised the atmosphere of the event and pointed out that a number of people in attendance were alumni of the team who are drawn back each year. Along with the team’s Launch Night each year, Tech Night lets former members who spent years of their student lives with the team keep in touch and see the progress they make with each new car.

Dr Allen said it’s his job to mentor the team, and he’s continually impressed by what the group manages to produce. In particular, he highlighted the contributions of the many sponsors in attendance, noting the team couldn’t do what they do without this generosity.

Team Leader Matt Hufton provided the introduction to the evening, mentioning the team is now up to 55 members whose job it is to design and build a car from scratch over the course of a year. He then passed over to Chief Engineering Ben Goodman who reminded everyone of their achievements at last year’s competition, where they placed third in the electric class.

Ben said the design team’s aim for this is to correct the perceived downfalls of last year’s car, which they believe could end up looking like a departure from their recent builds. This year’s car will be electric four-wheel drive, as opposed to rear-wheel drive and is expected to feature a heavier reliance on aerodynamic elements.

The team is now in the manufacturing phase getting this year’s car ready for testing hopefully in August or September before it’s unveiled in November and shipped off for competition in December.