IIT Roorkee Motorsports Team accelerates passion for race cars

Subhadrika Sen
Subhadrika Sen
Posted on 14 Jan 2022
10:15 AM

IIT Roorkee Motorsports Team Created by Raghib Haider. Source: IITRMS

Students design and build formula race cars from scratch
Team has participated in Formula Student competitions with electric car

Automobile enthusiasts at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee keep themselves busy building state-of-the-art, eco-friendly, automobiles for motorsports. The Motorsports Team has won several awards and accolades for its unique design elements and progressive engineering.

The members of the IIT Roorkee Motorsports Team (IITRMS) ideate, design, build and incorporate new-age ideas for building automobiles under the guidance of three faculty members — Arup Kumar Das, associate professor; Akshay Dvivedi, professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; and Pramod Agarwal, professor of Electrical Engineering. IITRMS was founded in 2010 by students with a burning passion for design engineering.



IITRMS participates in inter-collegiate competitions such as Formula Student in Europe hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Formula Bharat, an Indian Formula Student-style competition.

“The team provides a platform to racing enthusiasts to display their passion. Students get to apply and test the principles taught in their curriculums. IITRMS also pursues research projects in collaboration with the faculty in the domain of electric vehicle technology,” said Roshan Raja Samuel, a fourth-year Electrical Engineering student, who is the team leader of IITRMS.

The team placed third at Formula Bharat Virtuals (FBV) 2021-22 held last year. Since its debut in 2011, the team has participated in Formula Student competitions every alternate year — Formula Student UK (2013) with a Hybrid Car, FSAE Australasia (2015) with their first electric car, and Formula Green (2017).

“The sole focus of these competitions is to provide an opportunity to conceptualise and design formula student cars. Formula Bharat was hosted virtually last year because of the pandemic. We did not hold the dynamic events that require a manufactured car. Only static events like engineering design, business plan, team management, and procurement are held. All this information can be easily conveyed using reports, spreadsheets, drawings and 3D CAD models. The judges evaluate the novelty, practicality and use of good engineering practices in the design proposed by the teams,” said Amogh Tandon, a fourth-year Mechanical and Industrial Engineering student, who is the marketing lead of the team.

IITRMS is gearing up for Formula Bharat 2022 with a newly manufactured electric car, which they are building by improvising their previous electric cars.

Cars manufactured by students that won several awards Created by Raghib Haider. Source: IITRMS

Cars from scratch

Some of the cars conceptualised, designed and manufactured from scratch by the team:

· RMSE19: The third electric race car is ergonomically safe. This model can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 3.8 seconds. Its maximum speed is 140 kmph. The team participated in Formula Green 2020 held in Coimbatore with this model in February 2020.

· SABER: The team participated with this car in the Formula Green 2017 competition held in Coimbatore. The fully electric race car has a unique cooling system and is cost-effective. Impressing the judges, this model earned the team a direct entry to the Formula Green 2018 competition.

· BOLT: The first of its kind all-electric vehicle was designed and developed in 2015. The team participated at the FSAE Australasia held in Melbourne, Australia in 2015 with this car.

· RMS13: This is the first hybrid electric powertrain-based race car. The RMS13 was showcased in the Formula Student UK held in 2013 where the IITRMS was the only team with a hybrid electric vehicle in the competition.

· FIITR-11: The very first internal combustion engine car was launched in 2011. The team participated in the Formula SAE Australasia in 2011 held in Melbourne with this car and was the only Indian team in the event.

The team

The IITRMS team has more than 50 Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, BTech and MBA students. They work under mechanical, electrical, media and marketing and operations divisions. Each vertical is responsible for holistically pushing forward the goals of the team. While the mechanical and electrical divisions plan and build, marketing and operations bring in sufficient sponsorships for the activities to stay afloat. The media body takes care of disseminating information regarding the team.

“I have been a part of the IIT Roorkee’s Formula Student team for more than three years now. I joined as a fresher back in 2018. I have learned about the working of vehicles, especially electric vehicles. I have worked on practical projects. Being a part of and managing this dynamic team has given me an amazing networking opportunity. I have understood the importance of working as a team. This will help me once I step into the professional world,” said Rishabh Bakshi, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student, who heads the team's mechanical division.

Recruitment and training

Every year, freshers are recruited to the team. The formal process begins with Recruitment Talk, an orientation hosted by the senior team members during the second semester of the first year. They speak about the workings of the team, competitions, and past achievements. After which, a study manual is circulated followed by a written test. The questions are framed to judge the reasoning, retention, and application of basic concepts from high school and the provided manual. Shortlisted students move on to the personal interview round. Once cleared, they are recruited on board.

“I joined as an electrical team member and will be graduating as the team leader this year. I am responsible for the team's finances, future planning, and performance concerning deadlines. Be prepared to invest a lot of time and energy if you want to be part of the Formula Student team. We have worked for 16 hours a day as we have just one year to design, manufacture, and test the automobile. I have learned to prioritise things that need to be completed at the earliest. In IITRMS we usually apply concepts we have learned in our classroom,” said Roshan.

Senior team members teach the fresh recruits the basic technical knowledge required to build a race car and also how the team functions. Their training consists of lectures, projects, workshops and online seminars. Many students take up individual research projects as well.

Turning online

The team’s workshop, where they meet and work, is located in the West Block Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department of IIT Roorkee. The pandemic brought about major changes in the communication and constructive processes of the team’s activities. Online modes of communication aided by networking software are now the buzzword. While this has brought about a setback to the manufacturing aspect of building a race car, the members decided to focus and upgrade the design of the car instead. Offline work has resumed with precautions and head-count limitations.

Last updated on 14 Jan 2022
11:24 AM
Read Next