To recognize the design efforts of all competing teams at the 2012 Formula –Michigan Event, Altair Inc. sponsors the William R. Adam Engineering Excellence Award.  This award is given to the team which an Altair judging team feels has invested time and effort into developing new and innovative concepts for FSAE racing competition.  The award encourages forward thinking and ambitious design goals and rewards teams for risks taken to fully develop new and innovative concepts.  More over, successful applicants must demonstrate solid engineering principals, sound reasoning and proper execution.  This award is dedicated to the memory of Bill Adam, the person responsible for Altair’s involvement with Formula SAE.


This year’s winner of the William R. Adam Engineering Excellence Award and $1,000 is the team from the Helsinki University of Applied Sciences.

This team completely redesigned their steering system using an innovative angle-gear design.  The angle gear replaces the universal joint, a standard in most steering systems, and reverses shaft rotation.  The completely gear driven system has the advantages of constant velocity and constant (adjustable) backlash from lock-to-lock.  It also allows for steeper steering shaft angles compared to the common universal joint.  Every part of the steering system was designed and manufactured at Helsinki University.


The team from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale received the 2nd Place Award of $500.  Their unique brake rotor design incorporates carbon/carbon composite material to significantly reduce weight and eliminate the gyroscopic precession associated with their previous rotor design.  By working closely with the SIUC Center for Advanced Friction Studies, the team was able to design and fabricate the brake rotors in-house.  Full scale dyno testing of the rotors was also completed in-house.


Every year Altair provides requesting Formula SAE teams with our engineering simulation software, Altair HyperWorks, at no cost to aid in the design of high performance, competitive racing vehicles.  Next year’s 2013 FSAE Teams can request our Altair HyperWorks engineering suite for next year’s competition, by e-mailing  We also conduct a Motor Sports Webinar Series each fall, during the second week in October, to highlight application of our structural optimization, vehicle dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics simulation technologies to racecar design.  Please visit our Altair University Blog,, to learn more about this webinar learning opportunity.


1st Pace Team: Helsinki University of Applied Science


Angle-Gear Steering System Design

2nd Place Team: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Composite Brake Rotor Design



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