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Bristol students achieve second place in Formula Student competition

The Bristol Electric Racing team

Press release issued: 15 July 2015

Last week students from the University of Bristol took part, for the first time, in Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, Formula Student (FS), and achieved second place in the Class 2 competition.

The four-day competition, held at Silverstone, the home of British Motorsport, and run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers.  The event challenged universities from across the globe to design and build a single‐seat racing car in order to compete in static and dynamic events and to test the performance of their vehicle and demonstrate their understanding.

The University of Bristol team, Bristol Electric Racing (BER), was created in the summer of 2014. It was decided at the beginning that Bristol’s team would enter an electric car into the competition as the brief equips students with vital skills for the increasing electrification in the automotive, aerospace and renewables sectors. FS is one of the few competitions where electric and internal-combustion engine cars compete side-by-side.

The Bristol team is primarily made up of undergraduate students from across the Faculty of Engineering but also has members from other departments including law and music. Twenty‐eight students from across the departments of mechanical, aerospace and electrical and electronic engineering worked on the design of the car this year as part of their undergraduate research projects. A further 40 undergraduate students contributed in their spare time to setting up BER and finalising the design of the car. The team is also supported by an advisory committee of technical staff and postgraduates from across the Faculty of Engineering.

In the team’s inaugural year, they entered the Class 2 event. This is a static competition where students present a detailed design of a car to a panel of judges along with a business case and details about cost, manufacture and sustainability. In 2016 the team will progress to a Class 1 entry, where they will test their car’s performance against other teams from around the world in dynamic events such as endurance and sprint.

Ben Hicks, Professor in Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “The Faculty is very proud of the students’ achievements and we are very much looking forward to next year’s Class 1 entry. The incredible success of the inaugural BER team is testament to both the ability and determination of our students, and the expertise and knowledge of our academic and technical staff.”

Dr Jason Yon, Formula Student Faculty Advisor, added: “It has been a huge privilege to work with the team this year and I’m incredibly proud of their second place result in the Class 2 competition. Formula Student adds an exciting new dimension to our teaching and provides further opportunities for us to involve undergraduate students in the faculty’s cutting-edge research. It is clear that, in time, Bristol has the potential to be a top competitor in the Formula Student competition.”

The team has also received significant support from the Faculty of Engineering, the National Composites Centre and the office of the Vice-Chancellor. In particular, the faculty has appointed a dedicated Faculty Advisor to the team and provided financial support and access to the University’s facilities including refurbishment of a part of the Queen’s Building into a team garage.

Professor Andrew Nix, Dean of Engineering, said: “Formula student is important since it emphasises the need for effective teamwork across the aerospace, electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines. I am particularly pleased to see the Bristol team perform so well in their first year of entry.”

For further information on Formula Student at the University of Bristol, please contact Dr Jason Yon, the Faculty Advisor at

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