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The UOB’s students may well be hearing the term UBR a lot more often this year. What is UBR you ask? Well this is the University of Birmingham’s Formula Student Team: UB Racing. As a member of UBR I have an insight to the workings of this team and will be providing progress updates throughout the year.

Formula Student is an engineering competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers where a single seat race car based on Formula One racing, is designed, developed and manufactured by various national and international universities. Germany, USA and the Netherlands are some countries to name a few that compete in the international event. A few notable teams from the UK are Hertfordshire, Leeds, Brunel and Bath. Unbeknownst to most students apart from those mostly from Mechanical Engineering, Formula Student encompasses aspects from a variety of engineering disciplines and is open to anyone.

UBR16 alongside other competing cars at last year’s Formula Student Event


All the teams compete against each other in static and dynamic events. A few examples of Static events include Engineering Design, Cost & Sustainability Analysis etc, while some examples of Dynamic events are a 1km sprint, 75m acceleration test & 22 km endurance race.

The UK competition is usually held at the famous Silverstone track, where it was held between the 3rd and 7th of July this year. 2013 saw the use of the first all electric Formula Student vehicle. The last few years has seen a push for alternatively powered cars. While the coming competition will include a category just for all electric vehicles. A few universities that have pioneered in this are ETH Zurich and Eindhoven University of Technology.

UBR has rich history in Formula Student, with 2013-2014 being the 17th year that the University of Birmingham is competing in. This year’s car UBR17 currently under development is headed by Team Leader Andy Glencross, a 3rd Year Mechanical Engineering student who has been on the team for the previous 2 years.

Development Update: UBR hosted the first of two Fresher’s workshops, designed to teach new members about the car together with design and manufacturing methods. A very successful afternoon, the Core team were impressed by the large turnout.

The overall core team consists of around 10 mainly Mechanical Engineering students, each a part of separate department within UBR, such as Power train, Media, Business, Composites etc.
Students from other disciplines do help out and many have joined the team this year from Civil Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering and a few others.


The completed jig for UBR17

The jig that will hold the tubes for the frame has just been completed. UBR is expecting the laser cut tubes to be delivered soon within the next week. Testing of the previous car will be performed, for driver training and practice for this year’s car sometime next week.

UBR gladly welcomes any support, and if there are any students who may know of any firms, technological or not, that they believe may be interested in supporting UOB’s Formula Student program, and possibly providing sponsorship this year, then please contact Team Leader Andy Glencross and Technician Carl Hingley at or call the UBR lab at 012 1414 4218. Students are welcome to pop by the UBR lab which is based in the Mechanical Engineering Building. For more information please visit the website or the Facebook page: UBRacing.