For Brum Eco Racing’s fifth year it’s time to start work on our fifth car, Brum 5. COVID-19 restrictions have made things difficult, but that hasn’t stopped us completely! So here’s what we’ve been up to this semester:
With Welcome Week moving to a virtual format this year, Brum Eco Racing presented a YouTube Livestream followed by a Q&A in order to engage with new members, allowing students to learn about the team and ask questions. We also took part in the College’s Virtual Societies Fair and spread the word about our team too all new students. Although this was a completely different recruitment approach to what Brum Eco Racing has done in the past, it helped us grow our team with new members!
With lab access limited and our ability to work on the main Brum 5 car reduced, we decided to start a new project that would still allow our new members to learn hands-on engineering skills: enter Brum 5 Mini! Brum 5 Mini is a remote learning project where we have designed and started to build a robotic version of our car on a much smaller scale. Our members have been able to learn Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills to design the chassis, electronics skills for the inner workings, and programming skills to bring everything together. It is hoped in the New Year we will have a functioning remote-control version of our car and we aim to add autonomous driving features as we progress.
Since we’re not able to access our labs, we decided to film a series of short videos to give you peak ‘Inside Brum Eco Racing’. This included quick looks inside our workshop space inside the engineering department, as well as closer looks at our car. These videos were shared on our social media pages (follow brumecoracing on Instagram and Twitter!) and on our new YouTube channel.
Our efforts on the main car has mostly consisted of design work this term to allow everyone to get involved wherever they are in the world. One area that has seen good progress this semester is the engine. We decided early on that we would move to a slightly different engine in order to try to increase our efficiency even more. Simulations are underway to understand what design improvements we can make and we are excited that the engine has just arrived!
But that’s not all we’ve done! Online sessions have been held to help teach new members new skills with programs that we use at Brum Eco Racing, such as SolidWorks for CAD. We’ve also held a number of virtual socials to help people get to know each other.
We hope that with the New Year we will be able to begin more physical work on Brum 5 in order to get it ready for the competition, but regardless work has been exciting at Brum Eco Racing so far!
To find out more about Brum Eco Racing visit their website www.birmingham.ac.uk/eps/brumeco.
There are 42 student groups in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. To learn more about their projects and activities head to www.birmingham.ac.uk/eps-societies.