Design, Build, and Win!

My name is Shota, and I am a sophomore mechanical engineering student at Cornell Engineering student ShotaCornell. I am here today to discuss one of the biggest reasons why I decided to attend this school. More specifically, I am writing to talk about Cornell FSAE Racing Team! Some people may refer to us as “Cornell Racing” or “FSAE” as well. Our team competes in a collegiate level design competition hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) each year. Furthermore, we design, build, test, and race an electric formula-style race car all from scratch with the various resources that we have access to. Some of the systems on the car that we design and manufacture include the: suspension, carbon fiber monocoque, aerodynamic wings, and 420V high voltage battery that powers the car. Our team motto is: Design, Build, and Win!

As a Powertrain sub-team member, my main job right now is to design, manufacture, and assemble the battery module segments in the high voltage battery. We use the same type of battery cells as most electric road cars like Tesla to power our car! I used Autodesk Inventor to design the CAD model and a CNC router to manufacture most of the components. The sense of camaraderie when I come into the lab to build these modules with some of my closest friends has kept me motivated to continue pushing to finish this race car even with all the hardships an engineering project comes with. In addition to this work, I designed enclosures for the Electrical sub-team members’ custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). Being a part of such a large team also allows me to learn about the other systems on the car as well so that I can become a more well-rounded engineer.

Cornell Engineering student ShotaI decided to apply to and join Cornell Racing because of how much I enjoyed working on my high school FIRST Robotics team. I wanted to continue developing myself as an engineer at Cornell. Thus, being on the team has given me the opportunity to continue learning skills like: Computer Aided Design (CAD), machining, rapid prototyping, and wire harnessing. Although the fundamental engineering theories are very crucial to being a successful engineer, I believe that gaining hands-on experience is important in getting ready to work in industry. In addition to engineering skills, I learned about teamwork, leadership, and time management through the various projects that I have juggled in parallel through the year. This has made me feel like a more competent engineer. All in all, being on Cornell Racing and having access to the Emerson Machine Shop, the Rapid Prototyping Lab, the various lab spaces, and team alumni network has given me many opportunities to grow both as a person and engineer.

If I was not on Cornell Racing, my day to day life at Cornell would be a lot more bland in my opinion. I would not have formed the friendships I have now and not gotten the chance to grow.

~Shota, mechanical engineering