Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Formula for Success Matt Plakunov Team Captain of University of Hartford Formula SAE

Designing a racecar fuel-injection system
Connecticut native
UofH Connection
  • Mechanical engineering major
  • College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture
Most weekends you can find me at United Tool and Die on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford, where we work on our car. Since September, my teammates [Brian Behnke '11, Chris Dziurgot '13, Peter Cole '13, and Michael O'Connor '11] and I have been building a racecar for the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) competition in June in Fontana, Calif. SAE International organizes the competition. The University has had a team since 1994.
The idea behind Formula SAE is that a fictional company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style racecar. We are judged on all aspects of a business, including research, design, manufacturing, testing, and fund raising.
This year's car will be similar in design to last year's car except for the fuel injection. We are replacing the carburetor with a fuel-injection system to gain some power, reliability and to make the car as fuel efficient as possible. My senior project is doing the fluid analysis and fluid design of the intake manifold.
I work part time at Barnes Aerospace in East Granby. Being on the team helped me get the job. It gives you the opportunity to work with your hands. You actually get to build what you design, which is uncharacteristic of what you do in class. In class you learn a lot of theory but here you actually get to put a car together. It's that hands-on connection between the theory and actually doing it that I really enjoy.

Source: www.hartford.edu

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