News and events archive 2004 - 2013


Inerters and Formula One Racing

Leicester engineer part of team that developed new mechanical suspension component

Dr. Michael Chen (Department of Engineering) and his collaborators at Cambridge University, the BMW Group, the Red Bull Technology, and the National Taiwan University have been working on a new modelling element named "inerter" and its application in the past few years.

In 2008, two articles in Autosport revealed details of a new mechanical suspension component with the name "J-damper" which had entered Formula One Racing and which was delivering significant performance gains in handling and grip. From its first mention in the 2007 Formula One "spy scandal" there was much speculation about what the J-damper actually was. The Autosport articles revealed that the J-damper was in fact an "inerter".

Recently, Dr. Chen et al. published in the prestigious IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine (volume 9, issue 1, March 2009) as the cover feature article of the issue, entitled The missing mechanical circuit element .

This article aims to provide an overview of the background and origin of the inerter, its application, and its intimate connection with the classical theory of network synthesis.

Read the original article

More information (including the talk slides for a recent talk on the inerter by Dr. Chen)

This article originally appeared on the Department of Engineering website.


- Department of Engineering

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