LGS at the Races: We Keep Rolling with Cooper Motorsports
Last year, we described how the LGS Florham Park (FP) office supports Cooper Motorsports, a team of undergraduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds who design and build racecars at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. This year, the CU students drove their car in two competitions; one official Formula SAE (FSAE) event in Michigan organized and managed by SAE International, competing against up to 120 teams from around the world and a second unsanctioned competition organized by Formula North, Inc. in Canada, competing against up to 38 teams from Canada and United States.
Thanks to Dale Short and Pat Povilaitis on our Applied Research & Technology (ART) team—and LGS sponsorship engineered by Marc Beacken, Vice President of Technical R&D—LGS continued to roll with Cooper Motorsports this year. In 2015, LGS donated a set of rain tires and the use of an abrasive waterjet cutting machine to the team; this spring, we again donated use of this waterjet technology to enable the team to cut parts to some very exacting specifications.
The FSAE competitions were started by the SAE International (formally the Society of Automotive Engineers)in 1978 to challenge students to design, build, and test a race car prototype with the purpose of promoting critical problem solving and on-track safety (the cars are driven by the student themselves).
“Cooper Motorsports sent us raw materials and design files for differential mounts and pedals,” Pat says. “Dale and I then tool-pathed and cut the parts on the Florham Park waterjet machine. We also cut a series of 1-inch steel plates to help a team member with their Senior design project.”
The LGS-sponsored Cooper Motorsports race car was put through its paces this May at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan (where it came in 83rd) and in June at the Barrie Molson Centre, Ontario (where it came in 20th). “These are actually very good results for a comparatively small, resource-limited team,” Dale explains. “The team competed in every event in Michigan, which shows that the car was very reliable—and that the team worked hard.
“I was a member of the Motorsports team while attending Cooper Union, and FSAE was hands-down the most valuable experience I had there,” Dale continues. “Besides technical knowledge, team members learn a lot of real-world skills interacting with outside companies like LGS that help the team build their car. I’m very proud to see LGS support the program and help me to pay back what other engineers did for me when I was on the team.”
LGS sponsorship of the Motorsports program has helped to build interest in LGS career opportunities among Cooper Union engineering students. “There’s something about a waterjet using 50,000 PSI of water, in a stream about five times the diameter of a human hair, cutting through inch-thick aluminum that a lot of engineering students find compelling,” Dale smiles. “Word of LGS resources like this travels around Cooper Union career fairs pretty fast.”
About Cooper Union
The Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, an industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist. One of the oldest and most distinguished higher learning institutions in the country, the Cooper Union offers education in engineering, architecture, and art, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences. Based on Peter Cooper’s belief that an education should be accessible to those who qualify, the Cooper Union admits undergraduates solely on merit and currently awards a minimum of a 50 percent tuition scholarship to all enrolled students.