Ben Dunster

MEng Mechanical Engineering

University of Bath

Year 3 – Industrial Placement at SAIC Motor technical Centre UK – Birmingham 

During year 3 of my degree (2016/17) I spent a year working in the Vehicle Performance, Aerodynamics and Pre-Production Operations department of SAIC Motor in Birmingham. MG Motor is an SAIC company brand and the brand chosen for the UK market. An exciting part of the job was working in the wind tunnel at MIRA with the aero dynamist, assisting with exterior body changes and measuring their impact on drag. 

During the placement the interns at the company were given a project to complete themselves. This was to create a technology demonstrator vehicle, updating a 1980s MGB GT with a modern SAIC engine, and modern handling characteristics. I took on the role of project manager, along with design roles of the engine to gearbox adaptor plate, clutch system, exhaust system and cooling network. 

The original vehicle is shown below. 

 The finished technology demonstrator is shown on the following page. The vehicle has been shown by the company at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC, the British Touring Car round a Silverstone in 2017, and has now been featured on the companies Facebook page with a breakdown explaining the project. The vehicle has a 2.0l turbo 4cyl SAIC engine, electric power steering from an MG ZS, Brakes from an MG GS and multiple other modifications. 

Year 4 – Semester 1: Exams 78%. First. 

Year 4 – Semester 2: Group Business and Design Project – Team Bath Racing Electric 

During the second semester of Year 4, I undertook a design project within the Universities’ Electric Formula Student Team. My individual design responsibilities were the rear suspension design and optimisation. The design process was to optimise the suspension geometry, calculate member loading under different loading conditions, assess the highest performing material and component solutions, transfer this into a full CAD model, undertake Finite Element Analysis to validate stress calculations before submitting this to the full vehicle CAD assembly for package checks. 

A wireframe CAD model of the optimised suspension geometry is shown here:

Here is a full CAD model of the rear suspension assembly: 

An evolution of this design will be taken forward by the Team Bath Racing Electric Formula Student Team in the 2018/19 season, with the aim of competing at the Formula Student Silverstone Event in the summer. 

© Copyright 2020 Thomas John Jones Memorial Fund. All testimonies and images on this page are taken by and used with the permission of our scholars.

Logan and family at his graduation ceremony, July 2018

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