Formula UBC SAE Student Team

A. Competition Introduction

Formula SAE is an intercollegiate design series organized by SAE international to get university students involved in real-world automotive engineering. In total, Formula SAE has over 500 universities competing in 8 different competitions around the world. At these competitions, students present, justify, and race their open wheeled formula-styled racecars.

The competitions involve both static and dynamic events. Students and their cars are tested in events such as Design Presentation, Cost Analysis, Business Presentation, and a host of dynamic events.

Competition Score Breakdown

Static Events

Dynamic Events









Cost Analysis








A photo of thecompeting teams at the Formula SAE Michigan competition in 2016.

Formula UBC, amultidisciplinary team of roughly 60 engineering students at the University of British Columbia, works to design and build a new racecar every year to compete against other collegiate teams in the Formula SAE competition. Our objective is to create and promote a professional engineering team that can annually deliver a competitive racecar for competition. In previous years, our team has participated in competitions in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as in Brooklyn, Michigan. This year, the team plans on competing in Michigan, with the goal of placing in the top 20 teams.

Team members at Michigan in 2016.

Our 2016 car photographed during atesting day.

A. Project Introduction:

The electrical sub-team at Formula UBC is responsible for the racecar’s electrical power distribution, sensor data acquisition, and electronically actuated systems.The team’s major projectsinclude the iterative design and construction of a custom wiring harness, and of a custom electronics enclosure. The harness and enclosure provide an interface between the car’s engine control unit, its data acquisition system, its power source, and itsvarious other electrical sub-systems.

In order to improve the reliability, manufacturability, and reusability of the car's electrical systems, our team has been working towards designing custom PCBs which will move many of the car's loose wires, relays, and prototype boards onto a small number of printed circuit boards.

B. Project Details

A “Power Distribution Board” is being designed to control the electrical power supplied to various car components, and to protect the car’s electrical systems through fuses, diodes, and kill switches. In previous years, the car’s largest cause of electrical failure was the gradual wear of the connections between relays and power lines. This was in part due to the continuous vibration of components that were not rigidly secured to one another, and due to relatively difficult manufacturing resulting in occasional poor connections.By designing a single PCB which uses surface-mount components to replace all the previously free-hanging relays and fuses, we hope to improve the reliability and manufacturability of our car’s electrical enclosure. The board will also feature sets of LEDs which will help to quickly visually troubleshoot and isolate potential electrical failures that could arise while on the track. A separate PCB has also been designed to control the actuation ofa robust semi-automatic gear shifting system.

Thank you PCBWay for your time and your consideration of our application for a team sponsorship. Our electrical sub-team, a part of the larger Formula UBC team,is photographed below.

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December 02,2016
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