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Cranfield University’s Advanced Motorsport Engineering Course Adopts Altair as a Strategic Software Partner

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By learning Altair HyperWorks, the next generation of race-car developers gain invaluable insight into innovative design techniques used in the automotive and motorsport industries today.

Leamington Spa, UK, 16 June 2014 - Cranfield University’s Advanced Motorsport Engineering course has chosen Altair as a strategic software partner for teaching progressive simulation techniques to students who are aspiring to lead the next generation of motorsport teams at companies such as Mercedes AMG, Red Bull Technology, Lotus F1, McLaren F1, Sauber F1, Williams F1, Caterham F1, Marussia F1, and Sahara Force India. With an overall trend in the automotive industry towards eco-friendly technology, implementing CAE tools such as HyperWorks enables motorsport engineering design teams to stay competitive in the face of increasingly strict FIA regulations about fuel efficiency.

In Bedfordshire, England, Cranfield University is located near the Silverstone Circuit as well as several Formula One team headquarters and automotive supplier sites. The Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc is led by programme director Clive Temple, while many Motorsport practitioners such as Pat Symonds, Adrian Reynard, Andrew McFarlan, Stefan Strahnz, Mike Pilbeam and Daniele Casanova contribute valuable sessions on the course.

Cranfield students who were new to the program in autumn 2013 were first inspired to explore HyperWorks for engineering design when they attended the 2nd Altair UK Student Motorsport Workshop hosted by Jacquelyn Quirk, Altair Engineering, at the Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Presentations were given by a mixture of students and industry professionals, on topics such as lightweight composite monocoque car body design, metallic suspension component topology optimisation using solidThinking Inspire, the engineering behind the Bloodhound Supersonic Car, a history of automotive crash simulation, and a live demo of the Altair Virtual Wind Tunnel for external vehicle aerodynamics. Registration is now open for student teams interested in attending the 3rd Altair UK Student Motorsport Seminar to take place on Friday, October 24, 2014.
This year, as part of their group design project, the students at Cranfield were tasked with designing a 2-seat, low-cost hydrogen-powered sports racing prototype and used the brand new Radical RXC as an example of best current practice. They presented their work on May 14, 2014 to an audience of nearly 100 engineers and prospective students. Group 3 won the Motor Sports Association (MSA) prize for best presentation on the day. They went above and beyond the requirements to modify the Radical RXC chassis to accommodate their new fuel storage solution and performed structural topology optimization on their entire space-frame chassis using Altair OptiStruct. They also used Altair’s composite modelling capabilities to design their liquid Hydrogen storage tank. You can find a blog post by Jack Chilvers about their teamwork published on Racecar Engineering magazine’s website here.

While most teams employed HyperWorks for building the necessary finite-element models for structural analysis on their group designs, many students on the Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc course also apply the HyperWorks simulation-driven design methods to their individual project work. In addition, as part of their standard Motorsport Structural Analysis Module taught each year by Hrushikesh Abhyankar, they are introduced to industry-standard simulation techniques to build finite element models and optimize metallic components using HyperWorks.

“Today, a study of design and structures is incomplete if it is not accompanied by an in-depth understanding of Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Altair's engineering software suite and their support to the MSc Advanced Motorsports Engineering students at Cranfield University has been invaluable. They have not only taken a lead in training the students, but also actively support their thesis projects. I am sure that this direct interaction and exposure to advanced design techniques will help the students to realise their potential and achieve their dreams in the challenging world of motorsports.” - Hrushikesh Abhyankar, Structural Analysis Lecturer, MSc Advanced Motorsports Engineering

As part of the graduation ceremony held for Cranfield University graduates on June 5, 2014, for the first time, Altair sponsored the Altair Optimum Award, a prize awarded to the student who demonstrates the best application of HyperWorks CAE technology to optimize vehicle performance in the Motorsport Simulation-Driven Design Process. Luke Roberts was the recipient who earned the prize for his independent Master’s thesis.
"Cranfield University is working very closely with Altair where the MSc Advanced Motorsport Engineering is concerned. Altair's contribution is really benefitting the students and the academic team delivering the programme. With many points of engagement throughout the academic year, the partnership is ensuring our students are conversant with state-of-the-art software and its application. The Altair prize is testimony to Altair's commitment to the Motorsport MSc." - Clive Temple, Programme Director, MSc Advanced Motorsport Engineering

Teaching resources offered by Altair University to colleges and universities globally include highly-subsidized licensing of the full version of HyperWorks on campus, the Free Student Edition of HyperWorks available to all students, the Free e-books Practical Aspects of Finite Element Simulation and Practical Aspects of Structural Optimization, the moderated Academic Support Forum, and the Academic Training Center. On June 26, Altair will host its 2nd Academic and Industry CAE Collaboration Day as part of its free 7th European Altair Technology Conference in Munich. Anyone interested in learning more about the Altair Academic Program should visit www.altairuniversity.com.

About Advanced Motorsport Engineering at Cranfield University
Established in 2000 with support from the motorsport community, this postgraduate programme prepares graduates for a career in motorsport or high performance engineering through the development of a combination of applied research and practical skills, specialist expertise and business management tailored towards a career in motorsport.

About HyperWorks
HyperWorks, a platform for innovation, is a comprehensive simulation solution for rapid design exploration and decision-making. HyperWorks provides a tightly integrated suite of best-in-class tools for all facets of the simulation process: modelling, analysis, optimization, visualization, reporting and collaborative knowledge management. Leveraging a revolutionary pay-per-usage licensing model, HyperWorks delivers maximum value and flexibility for customers worldwide. For more information, please visit

About Altair
Altair is focused on the development and broad application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance. Privately held with more than 2,000 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA and operates more than 45 offices in 21 countries. Today, Altair serves more than 5,000 corporate clients across broad industry segments. To learn more, please visit www.altairengineering.co.uk

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