STUDENT PROJECT: SCUDERIA MENSA
Students from all faculties of the university work together on the Scuderia Mensa project, the Formula Student Racing Team of Hochschule RheinMain (RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, HSRM). The team designs and builds a racing car every year and takes part in the international Formula Student, the world’s largest design competition for students.
The day-to-day work of Scuderia Mensa goes beyond vehicle design and production; it includes a wide range of marketing, sponsoring and financial management tasks. That is why the diverse team consists of 50 students from a wide range of degree programs – you will find engineers, business administrators, computer scientists, communication designers and others working together on the project. In peak periods, the student team members will spend more than 40 hours a week working on the current racing car, next to their studies. The effort is worth it though, says team captain Viola Mc Kearney. The work is a lot of fun and you learn a lot for your future career. “We get to apply a lot of what we studied in our degree programs and develop important soft skills such as teamwork and time management.”
The shift to electric and autonomous
The idea for the project was born in 2006, when a small group of students came together to develop a racing car for the then newly founded Formula Student competition. The student group entered the competition for the first time in 2008 with the SPR08. Since then, the Scuderia Mensa team has been present at Formula Student Germany in Hockenheim every year. The team also competed in other international races in Great Britain, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary and Italy. Scuderia Mensa has celebrated various successes, both on the race track and in other categories such as energy efficiency and cost report. Since its launch in 2008, Scuderia Mensa has presented a new model every year, while being very versatile. From 2011 to 2015, the team developed racing cars with electric drives; from 2008 to 2010 and from 2016 to 2019, the vehicles were powered by combustion engines.
The current racing car is Scuderia’s first electric vehicle with an all-wheel drive using four-wheel hub motors. The motors reach a maximum speed of 20,000 rpm and are powered by a self-developed 600V battery (consisting of 720 lithium-ion round cells; capacity of 7.78 kWh). The planetary gear located in the wheel carrier with a ratio of 1:11.5 achieves a 250 Nm maximum torque per wheel. The chassis and aerodynamic package were manufactured entirely at the team’s premises in Rüsselsheim and are made of carbon fiber. With a total weight of around 210 kg, the vehicle reaches a top speed of 130 km/h.
Meanwhile, the team has laid the foundations to master two disciplines of the competition without a driver, autonomously. The team is happy to welcome new members for current and future projects. Degree program and number of semesters studied are irrelevant – motivation and enthusiasm are the key.
Find more information on the Scuderia Mensa website.