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EVS Metal Lends a Hand to Columbia University’s Knickerbocker Motorsports Team

EVS Metal has once again teamed up with Columbia University students to assist in fabricating precision metal components for their racing club — officially known as Knickerbocker Motorsports (Columbia FSAE).

Columbia FSAE is a student team that builds open-wheeled, formula-style race cars from scratch. Once completed, they travel to competitions to face other colleges and universities from around the world. In a twist, this year the team decided to manufacture two cars — a traditional gas-powered vehicle (ICE), and an electric vehicle (EV). 

With plenty of help from EVS New Jersey’s engineering manager, Nathan, EVS fabricated three different parts for Columbia: a fuel tank and tabs for the ICE, and an accumulator for the EV. “EVS helps us bring our designs to life through manufacturing,” said James Van Hess, Lead System Engineer for the club. 

The fuel tank is similar to the design from last year, with minor modifications made to accommodate the changes made to the ICE’s chassis for better ergonomics. The incorporation of these and other small tweaks to the design allowed the car to pass the pre-race technical inspection the first time through. This meant that the team had more time to prepare the car for the actual race the next day, a huge accomplishment for the team. In fact, in 2018, a fuel tank leak cost them so much valuable time that they were only able to complete a limited amount of trial runs before the race — just two. This year’s tank provided a very different outcome, with six runs completed. This allowed the team to gather more testing data, and get more drivers experience at the competition (3 of the 4 will return to race next year!).

The tabs fabricated by EVS were identical to last year’s design and provide mounting points for all the car’s parts on the chassis.  

Overall, the team placed 76th out of 125; 72nd, 63rd, and 49th in acceleration, skid pad, and autocross respectively. Excitingly, they also placed 13th overall at the Business Presentation Event, where the club’s president, Mark Hellinger, and James (quoted above) had the chance to present their ideas to Formula SAE judges, all engineers in the industry.  

Next week, we’ll take a closer look at the team’s EV…stay tuned! In the meantime, check out these great photos of Knickerbocker’s gas-powered car:


About EVS Metal

EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. Our machinists and operators utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. EVS Metal’s four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from lasers and CNC machining centers to automated powder coating lines.

We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online or call 1-888-9EVSMET to speak with a specialist today.

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