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Formula SAE Vehicle


The FSAE team faced issues with various components on the MF8 competition vehicle. From poorly executed parts to non-existent systems, the car was undrivable in its current state. The Capstone team was tasked with fixing these issues by redesigning and improving various parts of the car to make it ready for future competitions.

Throughout this project, four different deliverables were created by the Senior Design team. These include redesigned brake calipers, carbon fiber suspension members, a new wiring harness, and a steering wheel designed for maximum driver assistance; each of which are unique to the Mines Formula Vehicle, MF8.

The old brake calipers had points of interference with the rims after a change in their size, so redesigned calipers were crafted for a perfect fit in the MF8 vehicle wheel well. New carbon fiber suspension members provide the car with greater stiffness and larger steering angles, while having a lightweight and slim design. The developed wiring harness allows for future serviceability, including water, thermal, and abrasion protection. The steering wheel provides the driver with an electronic interface displaying information like their lap time, current engine temperature, RPMs and a paddle shifter for changing gears quickly.

Live Zoom Chat

Use the link below to join us live from 8:00 – 10:30 a.m. on April 29th.

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Team Members

  • Giorgio Cassata
  • Michael English
  • Corrie Hiatt
  • Joshua Lehn
  • Cole Robbins
  • Parker Shapen
  • Brayden Skrine
  • Nate Smith
  • Tory Wilson
  • Finn Mahoney

The Client

  • Dr. Gregory Bogin


Project Advisor: Adam Duran

Donations Made by: Mines Formula



Elevator Pitch

Our project team was tasked with developing upgrades for the Mines Formula, the Formula SAE team here at Mines. Discussions with members of the team lead to the decision of developing packages for the suspension, electrical, brakes, and ergonomics subsystems. The suspension team focused on creating suspension members that are both lighter and stiffer. A wiring harness was developed for the electrical system that incorporates motorsport style construction. The brakes team has designed a bespoke titanium front caliper that allows reduced weight and improved packaging. A steering wheel was developed for the ergonomics system that has increased comfort, reduced weight, and a provides critical information to the driver via a custom integrated electrical package.

Design Approach


A design matrix was used to evaluate the variety of concepts available. From this design matrix, carbon fiber tubes with glued end pieces were chosen. With the non-isotropic properties of carbon fiber, testing was conducted to evaluate the properties of the carbon tubes. Determining carbon tube properties then allowed design of tube sizing and end piece geometry.

Brake Calipers:

While exploring conceptual designs, a black box model was developed to help understand the inputs and outputs of energy in the caliper system. A brake line diagram was also created to allow us to validate the design of the calipers and that they would have sufficient locations for bleed screws, NPT adapters and flexible brake lines. With a concept decided, finite element analysis was utilized to complete stress and heat transfer studies.

Wiring Harness:

A variety of wiring harness methods were explored before selecting a concentrically twisted harness. With a concept in mind, wiring diagrams, material selection, and construction layouts were created.

Steering Wheel:

The design of the steering wheel was approached with several factors in mind: ergonomics, safety, driver assistance, and drive-ability.  Each of these factors influenced the design of the steering wheel. The shape was the wheel was determined through ergonomic testing and adherence to FSAE rules. The electronics package was developed to provide critical vehicle information to the driver in an understandable format.

Design Solution


Through extensive testing, 5/8″ OD 1/2″ ID tubes with spread tow plain weave were selected. Stainless steel end pieces were selected for their strength and bonding properties. Finite element stress analysis was used to verify the end piece geometry. This design results in suspension members with increased stiffness, reduced weight, and better interfacing.


Brake Calipers:

The final design of the brake calipers resulted in a titanium two-piston caliper with external fluid routing. Custom pistons with o-ring grooves were designed in conjunction with the calipers. The design was validated with stress and thermal studies. Compared to off the shelf alternatives, each bespoke caliper is 0.1 lb lighter, 0.2″ thinner, and 0.15″ radially smaller. This contributes greatly to packaging concerns within the wheel.


Wiring Harness:

A concentrically twisted harness interfacing between all necessary subsystems was designed. Tefzel wire and DR-25 heat shrink was chosen for their durable light weight design. A MoTeC power distribution module was chosen for increased actuator control and safety. Overall, the wiring harness is more organized, durable, and safe than previous methods.

Steering Wheel:

A 10″ carbon fiber steering wheel with integrated controls and display was the result of several design iterations. The carbon fiber construction allows for a lightweight design that also fits well within the hands of the driver. Controls include shifter paddles and buttons and dials to control ECU parameters and screen settings. A custom quick release with an integrated electrical connector allows reduced steering compliance and untethered communication to the electrical system.

Next Steps


With a finalized design and testing, the suspension team is currently waiting on materials to ship to complete the final deliverable.

Brake Calipers:

The brakes team has completed design, analysis, and fabrication of the calipers. They are now in the process of testing the performance of the caliper.

Wiring Harness:

The wiring harness team is currently partway through fabrication and scheduled to finish in the next few weeks.

Steering Wheel:

Preliminary testing of the steering is complete, and total functionality will be verified once the competition vehicle is running.

Meet the Team

Giorgio Cassata

I am a Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering double major from Santa Rosa, California. I enjoy hiking, working out, and staying connected with my friends and family. 

Michael English

Senior in mechanical engineering that has been involved in FSAE for three years. Experienced in component design, manufacturing, and analysis.

Corrie Hiatt

Colorado native who likes everything that goes fast. I’ve driven race cars since I was 6, and have no plans on stopping!

Joshua Lehn

Hey my name is Josh. I’m from Castle Rock, CO. I love to play spikeball, work on my Jeep, spend time with my family and enjoy the outdoors.

Cole Robbins

I am a mechanical engineer, and am from Boulder, Colorado. My interests include weightlifting, motorsports, mountains, and particular forms of music (Gregorian and Byzantine Chant, Soundtracks, whistling, etc). I will be working as a Hardware Engineer at Lockheed Martin after graduation.

Parker Shapen

My name is Parker Shapen. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering. I am from Yorba Linda, CA. I enjoy working on cars, skiing, and camping. 

Brayden Skrine

I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering, and a Colorado native. Additional interests include FSAE and skiing.

Nate Smith

I’m your average Oregon native that just wants to work on racecars or off roaders. When I’m not working in the shop, I’m strapping a set of skis on and gliding across snow or water depending on the time of year.

Tory Wilson

My name is Tory Wilson and I am a Senior in Electrical Engineering. I am from Cedaredge, CO. My hobbies include hiking and spending time up in the mountains.

Finn Mahoney

Hello, my name is Finn Mahoney. I grew up working with tools and making projects. I always loved cars, and as I finished High School, I took a year off to work and build a 1970 Jeep Gladiator. I came to Mines to work with the Formula SAE Team, and have done so for the past four years. I love working with the team and the car because it allows me to get a hands on engineering experience with a full lifecycle project that is not available in other opportunities.