SAE Award!

SAE BC held a seminar titled “Defects in Aircraft Design and Materials,” presented by engineer and historian Larry Rinek. BCIT Racing’s Engineering Manager, Sanesh Iyer, attended this event. It was a great presentation, with many case-studies exemplifying the importance of sound engineering decisions. One big lesson that was learned, is that engineers should always design with the end user in mind. Many of the case studies presented had their failures rooted in poor maintenance practices rather than functional-design failures. A root cause of these maintenance practices is poor design for manufacture and assembly techniques, leading to mechanics taking short-cuts when working on airframes.

SAE BC Chairperson Elise Woolliams and Speaker Larry Rinek with Larry’s model. Source: SAE BC [1]


BCIT Racing has had issues with DFM/A in the past, due to component complexity and level of integration required in a successful Baja SAE vehicle. However, since we have a chassis to work with for the 2016 season, team members are enabled to work on the current chassis. Being able to physically interact with our chassis has helped teach us DFM/A practices. This learning tool has enabled us to design new components with service in mind, enabling faster, more efficient, pit-stops during competition.

One example of this improvement is the CVT cover. Currently, it takes about 10 minutes to remove the CVT cover, which we are aiming to bring down to one minute or less. Enabling quicker CVT cover and CVT removal allows for quicker gearbox maintenance and repairs, critical if it fails during competition. The CVT team has had this goal in mind, and has come up with some very innovative solutions to this problem.
SAE BC and Larry Rinek’s seminar “Defects in Aircraft Design and Materials” was a great learning opportunity, as it reinforced some key DFM/A lessons we learned last season.
Now for the big news, we won an award from SAE BC at this seminar! SAE BC annually awards student teams participating in an SAE CDS event cash prizes based on a written submission. BCIT Racing is very proud of our submission, and we know where we can improve it for next year. We won the 2nd place award, valued at $600, which is a significant contribution to our budget goals this year.


SAE BC Student Team Award Winners. Source: SAE BC [1]

BCIT Racing’s Engineering Manager, Sanesh Iyer, receiving our SAE BC Award. Source: SAE BC [1]

BCIT Racing would like to thank SAE BC for hosting this seminar, “Defects in Aircraft Design and Materials,” and presenting BCIT Racing with this award! SAE BC, in one night, reinforced valuable lessons, and provided cash support, both of which will help us achieve our goals this year. BCIT Racing would also like to congratulate UBC Supermileage and UBC AeroDesign on their 1st and 3rd place awards. We look forward to attending more SAE BC events in the future!


[1] SAE BC, “Defects in Aircraft Design and Materials,” in Vancouver, BC, 2015
[2] BCIT Racing, Portland, OR, 2015