Terps Racing Unveils New Trailer

Since 1982, Terps Racing has been one of the most popular student teams on campus, offering hands-on engineering experience to an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate students. Each year, Terps Racing students design, build, test, and then race the cars they’ve created. In order to do well at these nation-wide competitions, Terps Racing needs a reliable trailer—capable of transporting the team, their equipment, and their car. Thanks to a generous donation from L3Harris, Terps Racing purchased a brand-new 24-foot trailer. Now, they’ll be able to attend future competitions with increased functionality and style.

“Being able to have something like this trailer shows who we are as a team. It’s something we can be proud of, and it looks fantastic,” says Joe Hussey, team captain of the Terps Racing Formula Internal Combustion (IC) team.

Terps Racing consists of three distinct teams, Formula Electric Vehicle (EV), Formula IC, and the Baja team. Additionally, Terps Racing teams are counselled by experienced faculty advisors, Captain Leonard Hamilton, Professor Alireza Khaligh, and Scott Schmidt, who offer advice and assistance. As each team designs their car and competes, they take every measure possible to prepare for any incidents that might occur throughout the competition.

For instance, a part may break, or a piece of their car might need to be tuned. In the past, it was difficult to address these time-sensitive problems because Terps Racing didn’t have a trailer with suitable capabilities. The new trailer can simultaneously fit students, the car, and the tools needed to handle whatever might come their way. The Baja team captain, Ciaran Cusick, stands at six feet and seven inches tall, and he’s able to stand upright in the new trailer donated by L3Harris.

Being able to have something like this trailer shows who we are as a team. It’s something we can be proud of, and it looks fantastic.

Joe Hussey, team captain, Formula IC

“Being able to take all of our stuff with us and have a trailer that we can work in and really effectively address all of the things that come up during the competition is really important for us,” said Cusick.

Indeed, teamwork and adaptability are crucial for teams to succeed in the competition setting. The teams include experienced students as well as newcomers, so there is a large range in skillsets. Each team member must collaborate effectively to develop the most effective car possible.

“The entire team has pulled together, and we’ve been making incredible progress over the last few weeks. The ways the whole team comes together is something else,” said Hussey.

Terps Racing give students the chance to get hands-on design work and build teamwork skills, and these abilities are applicable to future educational and employment prospects for team members. For example, Cusick will spend the summer interning with Caterpillar Inc. and Hussey will be continuing his education at the Clark School as a graduate student. The Clark School is particularly interested in offering students as many experiential learning opportunities as possible, and Terps Racing is a significant part of that.

“Captain Hamilton always says that Terps Racing is about creating experienced engineers and having fun,” said Hussey. “So that’s what we’re doing, we’re getting the practical experience but we’re having fun doing it.”

Published March 8, 2023