P17280: Hot Wheelz Thermal Management System

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Our team expected to fully define the scope of the problem during this phase and to be able to move forward with researching for system design.

We identified important parameters of the project, such as the overall project goals, important project stakeholders, customer requirements, use scenarios, house of quality, engineering requirements, top risks, and a project schedule for the next three weeks.

Project Summary

An important aspect of today’s new hybrid and electric vehicles is the thermal management system. This system ensures proper vehicle function and helps avoid decreased drivetrain efficiency, battery wear, and safety hazards. This not only holds true for commercial electric vehicles, but it is also important for Formula SAE electric vehicles. On the previous RIT Hot Wheelz vehicle the system consisted of ineffective air vents and heatsinks to cool the electrical components.

The goal of this project is to deliver an efficient thermal management system for the RIT Hot Wheelz Formula SAE Electric team’s 2016-2017 vehicle. The current system was not a priority of the design of the vehicle, nor was any testing performed on its effectiveness. The expected end result is a data-driven lightweight system that optimizes the vehicle’s performance through effective cooling methods for the electrical powertrain. The system should comply with all Formula Hybrid regulations as well as the constraints of the current vehicle design.

Link to 1-page project summary

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

At the end of the project, the customer is expecting to receive a fully functional, lightweight, water-tight and durable thermal management system ready to integrate onto their electric vehicle in time for competition use.

The key deliverables for the project are:


Formula Hybrid Rules

The full Formula Hybrid Rule book can be found here.

Rules pertaining specifically to the thermal management system can be found here.


Position Name Contact Stake
2015-2016 Hot Wheelz Chief Engineer Maura Chmielowiec maurac2187@gmail.com Customer
Hot Wheelz Technical Advisor Marty Schooping mpsasp@rit.edu Vehicle is operational
Hot Wheelz Faculty Advisor Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard email Vehicle is operational
Hot Wheelz Advisor Sarah Burke swboce@rit.edu Success of MSD Project
Hot Wheelz GM Mentor Adam Tallman email Vehicle is operational
Hot Wheelz Project Manager Missy Miller mam1664@rit.edu Scheduling
Hot Wheelz Chief Electrical Engineer Caitlin Babul cjb9238@rit.edu Electrical Integration
Hot Wheelz Chief Mechanical Engineer Becky Michalski rlm7152@rit.edu Mechanical Integration
Cockpit Ergonomics Subgroup Lead Becky Michalski rlm7152@rit.edu Size and Weight Limit
Electrical Mounting & Isolation Subgroup Lead Annika Garbers amg1684@rit.edu Mounting
Electrical Powertrain Electrical Subgroup Lead Allison McGowan amm2689@rit.edu Cooling
Electrical Powertrain Mechanical Subgroup Lead Alaysia Gilbert email Size Limit
Programming & Telemetry Subgroup Lead Cindy Gomez cxg2883@rit.edu Programming
Safety Systems Subgroup Lead Kara Tenpas krt8036@rit.edu Safety & Compatibility
Circuit Design Subgroup Lead Kendra Brock kab2788@rit.edu Power Limit
MSD Guide Gerald Garavuso gxgddm@rit.edu Guide
MSD Team MSD Team email Device Developers
KGCOE/RIT KGCOE/RIT email Project Success

Use Cases


View full PDF here.

Customer Interviews

Date Customer Notes
August 25, 2016 Maura Chmielowiec Session 1

Customer Requirements (Needs)


A working document can be found here.

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)


A working document can be found here.

House of Quality


A working document can be found here.



A working document can be found here.

Plans for Next Phase


The Microsoft Project file can be found here.

The Work Breakdown Structure can be viewed here.

Individual Plans

Missy Miller's Three Week Plan

Caitlin Babul's Three Week Plan

Jordan Short's Three Week Plan

Kristin Zatwarnicki's Three Week Plan

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