Engineers revisit their university days to lend a helping hand en route to Silverstone
TWO companies within the JANS Group, ETRUX and JANS Composites, are sponsoring the Queen’s University Formula Racing (QFR) team as they compete in the Institute of Mechanical Engineers’ Formula Student event at Silverstone, which is being held this weekend.
Formula Student is Europe’s most established engineering competition and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. The competition aims to develop enterprising and innovative young engineers and encourage more young people to take up a career in engineering.
Both companies, ETRUX and JANS Composites, have utilised the engineering expertise and knowledge to produce tooling for composite components to ensure that the build was made of as lightweight construction as possible. And as part of the partnership, ETRUX has provided team support vehicles to transport the team and their battery powered single-seater racing car to the event.
Dr Geoff Cunningham, QFR’s team principal said; “QFR was excited to collaborate with JANS Composites on the design and manufacture of the bodywork for the 2023 car. The team at JANS has a strong background in composite manufacture for the automotive sector and have been well placed to take the QFR bodywork to the highest level. We would like to thank Gareth, Ciaran and the wider team at JANS Composites for their enthusiastic support.”
“We were also very pleased that their sister company, ETRUX, assisted on preparations for the Formula Student 2023 competition. ETRUX has extensive experience in coachbuilding light-duty commercial and leisure vehicles and has a growing footprint in the development of electric variants. So, there were many areas of common interest. The organisation has a thriving vehicle hire business and has kindly supplied QFR with commercial vehicles for the long drive to the Silverstone Circuit. We would like to thank Gareth and the team at ETRUX for their immense support.”
QFR is a student-led team that designs, builds and races a single-seater car in the Formula Student competition. The team consists of engineering students from Queen’s University Belfast, who apply their skills and knowledge to create innovative solutions for the challenges of motorsport. The team aims to achieve excellence in engineering, teamwork and leadership, while promoting STEM education and inspiring future generations of engineers.
Some of the ETRUX engineers have competed in Formula Student during their studies and recognise the fantastic opportunity it gives budding automotive engineers ahead of their careers in industry.
Gareth Pinkerton, Head of Engineering at ETRUX and JANS Composites said: “As a former member of the QFR team, I recognise how valuable this competition is in starting the career of many young engineers. It is also a fantastic networking opportunity with a global range of students, universities, companies and technologies.
“I acknowledge that the technology and engineering within these cars has significantly moved on since I competed in 2001, with full electric powertrains now being developed. This fits perfectly with the ETRUX brand. From what we have seen of the QFR car this year, I have no doubt it will be a great success and we are very proud to have played our part in helping the team and the next generation of engineers.”
QFR was founded in 1999 by Dr Geoff Cunningham to provide high quality experience relevant to the automotive and motorsports sectors. Since then, QFR has produced 16 cars and won several awards at the annual competition for design and performance on the track.
While all cars up to 2019 were based around a 600cc motorcycle engine, all subsequent designs have been based on a fully electric powertrain. The team has finalised their new car for the July 2023 competition at Silverstone Race Circuit where they are targeting a top 10 finish from the 100+ international teams that have entered.