Featuring high-performance hybrid and electric race cars, Dartmouth College’s 7th annual Formula Hybrid Competition will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway from April 29-May 2. Founded and run by Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the competition features cars built by teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students.

This year, 20 teams are registered for the nation's only Formula competition focusing on hybrid-car technology.

“I have been honored to participate as a special judge at the Formula Hybrid competitions,” said Harold Flescher, nuclear physicist, IEEELife Fellow and 1995 SCCA FP National Champion. “The opportunities young people today have to participate in hands-on learning experiences like Formula Hybrid is something we never dreamed about in the 1960s. The depth of knowledge and creativity shown by these students is amazing and inspiring, and each year I anxiously await seeing the new approaches shown and technologies used by these students.”

Dartmouth based its event on the Formula SAE competition, in which the Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) team competed for over 10 years. The purpose of this event is two-fold: to give engineering students the educational experience of developing a system that requires working across disciplines; and to encourage and promote the development of high-efficiency automotive drivetrains.

Student teams designing and constructing a Formula Hybrid car can immerse themselves in any or all of the following disciplines:

•High-power electronics, including motors, generators, controllers, and DC-DC converters
•Mechanical systems, including suspension, steering, braking, chassis design, body design, and ergonomics
•Race strategy and energy management
•Computerized systems control
•Data acquisition
•Internal combustion engines, including intake and exhaust systems, fuel management, camshaft profile design, and ignition systems
•Regenerative braking systems
•Project management

Like Formula SAE, students compete in aspects of design, acceleration, handling and endurance of their vehicle, and abide by a long list of rules. Formula Hybrid teams, however, are faced with the additional challenge of optimizing both energy efficiency and sustainability of materials used in their cars.

Competition sponsors include New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Chrysler, SolidWorks, and Tesla Motors.