Surrey Gets Environmentally Technical
A local SFU club is making a big impact focused on engineering a sustainable future for our community. ‘Team Phantom’ is asking you to come change the world with them; are you in? Through integration of sustainable energy and transportation solutions, these 40+ dedicated, multi-disciplinary Simon Fraser University (SFU) students are on track for big things in world of sustainable engineering.
Club member, Raj Chatterjee, states that since their inauguration in 2016, they have been growing as a group, and they “ welcome students from all faculties, [while striving] to create a diverse team of like-minded individuals who are all working towards a shared vision.” What is the shared vision you ask? Working towards a future with clean energy use and sustainability awareness through zero-emission vehicle design.
When asked about the makeup of the group, Chatterjee explains that the Club is made up of students representing nearly all faculties and years at SFU – anything from mechatronics and applied science students, to business students – first year students to graduate students. Each individual brings their portfolio of skills and education forward to meet the Club’s many needs (engineering, business development, etc.), and within this framework mentorships naturally arises.
Team Phantom is providing SFU students with the “opportunity to gain real-world experience in assembly, project management, and business development.” Beyond the overall vision for this group, the students involved are working towards building an electric vehicle to compete in the 2020 Formula SAE Electric Competition being held in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
The Formula SAE Electric Competition is an international competition that pushes teams to it’s limits for design, performance, and safety, while encouraging innovation, research and design. There are strict guidelines for competition. “In order for our car to compete, the team must build a fast, powerful, and cost effective car that will be judged on its design, ingenuity, cost, and overall performance.”
In addition, each vehicle is thoroughly inspected through a series of tests to ensure that it complies with all competition rules, and performs on the track with considerations on endurance, acceleration, etc. Judges will be representing a group of experts from motorsports, automotive, aerospace, and supplier industries. Through such competition, it’s participants are being trained, and working towards shaping the future of electric vehicles. It is also an opportunity for like-minded university students from across the globe “to network and foster connections with other innovators and industry professionals” with similar passions, says Chatterjee.
Diving more deeply into the concept behind the Formula SAE Competition. Chatterjee explains that their efforts are based on a fictional manufacturing company which has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. Who is the target marketing group for this fictional contract? The non-professional, weekend autocross racer. Leading up to the competition, each team will design, build, and test prototypes, for the end evaluation focused on the car’s potential as a production item.
When they are not preparing for their big competition, Team Phantom works alongside SFU and the City of Surrey to attend and organize events that promote renewable, clean energy, and sustainable transport – The City of Surrey Clean Tech Summit, Fusion Festival, Electrafest Vancouver to name a few. At these events, they educate the public about the main components of electric cars, and the importance of clean transport in relation to air pollution and climate change. They also host an Annual Picnic where they showcase their work.
When asked how the public feedback was on their electric go-kart showcased at last year’s picnic in 2017, Chatterjee shared that due to the overall high interest levels, many of those who attended also chose to attend their initial fundraising gala where they discussed their plans for the following year. Although originally aiming for the 2019 competition held next June, the Club has decided to delay their participation until 2020 due to financial deficits.
Team Phantom are proactively seeking funds and sponsors in order to build their car, which can yield costs upwards of $100,000 CAD. Although already sponsored by a fantastic roster of companies and individual donations, the group is seeking further sponsorship to reach their goal. To learn more on how to support their cause and become a sponsor, check out their Sponsorship Package.
With the new year soon approaching, Team Phantom is one step closer to showcasing their passions and hard efforts on the international stage, and Surrey could not be any more proud. Start your engines – and as the group likes to say – ‘lets race!’