About Formula SAE
Formula SAE is a challenging competition for students around the world. Organized since 1978 by SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers), it takes place every May in Michigan, where university teams compete in a variety of dynamic, static and marketing challenges.
The premise of FSAE is that a major automotive manufacturer has approached you to design, manufacture and test a prototype Indy-style race car targeted at the weekend racer. This car must be fast, maneuverable and within a target budget. To determine which car will be chosen, teams compete against each other in a number of events.
Before a car can race on the track, it must pass a set of rigorous static checks. Cars cannot be leaking fluid at any time, have a sound lever greater than 110 dB at full throttle, or flip when subjected to 2Gs of lateral force.
Once completing these static checks, teams compete on-track in 4 different events. The acceleration test determines how fast cars can travel from a standstill through 75 meters. The skid pad awards points for the highest G force exerted on the car through a figure 8. The autocross is a 2 lap race through an unfamiliar course, with the best lap being compared to other cars for points. The endurance race pits drivers against one another in a 25 minute (22 mile) race to the finish line with only 1 allowable pit stop for a driver change. At the end of this race, additional points are awarded based on the car’s fuel consumption.
The final event of the competition is a marketing presentation to a panel of judges who question the students on every detail of the car’s design, cost effectiveness and marketability.
Attended by many companies in the automotive, manufacturing and engineering industries, Formula SAE is an excellent opportunity for students to apply their engineering knowledge to a real world scenario and gain practical experience.