Formula SAE is a student led competition sanctioned by SAE International. Teams of college students are challenged to design, build, and race an open wheel formula style race car. We are then judged at an international competition on not only the cars dynamic performance, but also the design, manufacturing methods, project budget, and overall professionalism of the car and team. Formula SAE has over 400 chapters at universities across the globe that participate in a number of regional competitions in several continents. FSAE offers students the opportunity to apply the theory learned in classroom exercises to real world problems. With FSAE these opportunities are experienced through the full design cycle; we design, manufacture, and assemble the components. Then test the parts initially as R&D and finally in the environment they were designed for. FSAE also challenges students to apply new concepts and push limits, often resulting in designs at the forefront of technology.
This kind of opportunity gives students first hand experience in real world engineering as FSAE is not a simulation but an actual product development and launch. The goal of FSAE is to develop a vehicle marketed to a specific demographic as outlined by the rules. However the design, manufacturing, testing, and final product are judged by leading industry professionals with decades of experience. Judges will test students to the edge of their knowledge creating an atmosphere equal to or often greater in stress level to marketing your product to a consumer.
Outside of competition other educational values offered by FSAE are actual experiences with common industry issues such as how a flawless design functioning in a computer model can have many unforeseen issues when put into production. This teaches the practical side of engineering where things won’t always go as intended. Everything from the difficulty of trying to hold tolerances in machining to budgeting and time management of a large scale project are experienced by members of the FSAE team.
FSAE teaches not only engineering applications but also business applications. For example networking with a variety of manufacturing facilities needed to fabricate intricate parts. Finance and accounting are applied as students are responsible for creating and holding a budget for R&D, purchasing raw materials, manufacturing the car, and team management and travel. Marketing and sales are then applied as this budget comes entirely from partnering organizations contacted by students. This process teaches networking skills as well as ways to build lasting business relationships. Additionally a large portion of the competition involves preparing a cost report and business presentation judged by financial annalists and management from many automotive and engineering corporations.
Because FSAE is a student lead organization it teaches organizational, time management, and leadership skills. These skills are passed to new members and carried out to industry by the leaders of tomorrow. The Formula SAE program teaches and promotes professionalism and the use of cutting edge technology to obtain exceptional performance from tomorrow's engineers.
Our mission as a Formula SAE team is to achieve new designs, pushing the envelope to find more efficient and economical engineering solutions. FSAE gives students a chance to experiment with new technologies such as ethanol based fuels combined with extensive research in kinematics, dynamics, fluids, aerodynamic properties, and electronics to come up with safer and more economical designs that offer greater performance and reliability. Additionally FSAE strives to pass on knowledge and professionalism to new students creating future business and industry leaders.