Dr. Cohen in TFR shop.
Dr. Cohen in the Temple Formula Racing shop.
Photo: Ryan S. Brandenberg

Of the 38 years of stories collected by Dr. Richard Cohen, retiring associate professor of mechanical engineering, one stands out as an example of engineering problem solving with students. It may have included the Temple Formula Racing team and a fiery mechanical failure.

Though the team now competes in Formula SAE competitions, their first few cars were built for Baja SAE, a competition for small off-road cars. In their very first year, the team designed and built their car in a student's auto body shop. As they were leaving for competition—Dr. Cohen was already on his way. When a team member attempted to start the car, what followed was a mechanical failure in which the intake and exhaust cam drive system blew apart as if it was an explosion.

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