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Formula SAE

Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE, also known as SAE International). The competition was started back in 1978 and was originally called SAE Mini Indy.

Concept

The 2007 design finalist cars; from the left, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, TU Graz, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Kansas

The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is both ensuring on-track safety (the cars are driven by the students themselves) and promoting clever problem solving.

The prototype race car is judged in a number of different events. The points schedule for most Formula SAE events is: Bob Woods, 1996 Formula SAE Rules, (Warrendale, PA) : Educational Relations SAE International, p. 4.

Design Event 150
Cost & Manufacturing Analysis Event 100
Presentation Event 75
Acceleration Event 75
Skidpad Event 50
Autocross Event 150
Fuel Economy Event 100
Endurance Event 300
Total Points Possible 1,000

In addition to these events, various sponsors of the competition provide awards for superior design accomplishments. For example, best use of E-85 ethanol fuel, innovative use of electronics, recyclability, crash worthiness, and analytical approach to design are some of the awards available. At the beginning of the competition, the vehicle is checked for rule compliance during the Technical Inspection. Its braking ability, rollover stability and noise levels are checked before the vehicle is allowed to compete in the dynamic events (Skidpad, Autocross, Acceleration, Endurance and Fuel Economy).

Formula SAE encompasses all aspects of a business including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management, and fund raising. Formula SAE takes students out of the class room and puts them in the real world.

Big companies, such as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, can have staff interact with more than 1000 student engineers. Working in teams of anywhere between two and 30, these students have proved themselves to be capable of producing a functioning prototype vehicle.

The volunteers for the design judging include some the racing industry's most prominent engineers and consultants including the late Carroll Smith, Bill Mitchell, Claude Rouelle, Jack Auld, John LePlante, and Bryan Kubala.

Today, the competition has expanded and includes a number of spinoff events. Formula Student is a similar SAE-sanctioned event in the UK, as well as Formula SAE Australasia (Formula SAE-A) taking place in Australia. A Formula SAE West division is taking place in California and the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) is holding the Formula Student Germany competition at Hockenheimring.

In 2007, an offshoot called Formula Hybrid, similar to Formula SAE except all cars must have gasoline-electric hybrid power plants, was inaugurated. The first two contests were held at the New Hampshire International Speedway. [1]

History

In 1979 the only SAE Mini-Indy was held at the University of Houston. Conceived by Dr. Kurt M. Marshek, the competition was inspired by a how-to article that appeared in Popular Mechanics magazine, for a small, "Indy-style" vehicle made out of wood, and powered by a five horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine. Using the Mini Baja competitions as a guide, engineering students had to design and build small, "Indy-style" vehicles using the same stock engine used in the Popular Mechanics article. Thirteen schools entered and eleven competed, The University of Texas at El Paso won the overall competition.

Although Dr. William Shapton (who had recently left the University of Cincinnati to join Michigan Technological University) broached the idea of hosting a similar competition in 1980, no one stepped up to organize another Mini-Indy.

Three students at the University of Texas at Austin saw the potential and proposed a new mini-Indy with new rules. The new rules kept restriction to a minimum, any four-stroke engine with a 25.4 mm intake restriction. A new name was sought to differentiate the new event from mini-Indy. Students were to design a racing car which couldn't cost over a set amount "as evidenced by receipts".

The University of Texas at Austin hosted the competition through 1984. In 1985, the competition was hosted by The University of Texas at Arlington. There, Dr. Robert Woods, with guidance from the SAE student activities committee, changed the concept of the competition from one where students built a pure racing car, to one that mirrored the SAE Mini-Baja competitions, where they were to design and build a vehicle for limited series production.

General Motors hosted the competition in 1991, Ford Motor Co. in 1992, and Chrysler Corp. in 1993. After the 1992 competition, the three formed a consortium to run Formula SAE.

Winners

Year Formula SAE Formula Student (UK) FSAE Australia FSAE Japan FSAE Brazil FSAE Italy Formula Student (Germany) FSAE West (USA) Formula SAE at VIR
2008 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Western Australia 22px-Flag of Germany.png University of Stuttgart 22px-Flag of Germany.png University of Stuttgart 22px-Flag of Japan.png Sophia University 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Centro Universitário da FEI 22px-Flag of Germany.png University of Stuttgart 22px-Flag of the Netherlands.png Delft University of Technology 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Maryland - College Park 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Wisconsin-Madison
2007 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Wisconsin-Madison 22px-Flag of Australia.png RMIT University 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Western Australia 22px-Flag of Japan.png Sophia University 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Faculdade de Engenharia de Sorocaba 22px-Flag of Germany.png University of Stuttgart 22px-Flag of Germany.png University of Stuttgart 22px-Flag of the United States.png Texas A&M University - College Station
2006 22px-Flag of Australia.png RMIT University 22px-Flag of the Canada.png University of Toronto 22px-Flag of Australia.png RMIT University 22px-Flag of Japan.png Sophia University 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Centro Universitário da FEI 22px-Flag of Austria.png University Of Applied Sciences - Graz 22px-Flag of Austria.png TU Graz 22px-Flag of the United States.png Texas A&M University - College Station
2005 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University 22px-Flag of the Canada.png University of Toronto 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Western Australia 22px-Flag of Japan.png Kanazawa University 22px-Flag of Brazil.png University of São Paulo - São Carlos 22px-Flag of Austria.png TU Graz
2004 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University 22px-Flag of Australia.png RMIT University 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Wollongong 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington 22px-Flag of Brazil.png University of São Paulo - São Carlos
2003 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Wollongong 22px-Flag of the Canada.png University of Toronto 22px-Flag of the United States.png Georgia Institute of Technology 22px-Flag of Japan.png Sophia University
2002 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University 22px-Flag of the United States.png Georgia Institute of Technology 22px-Flag of Australia.png University of Wollongong
2001 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University 22px-Flag of the United States.png Georgia Institute of Technology 22px-Flag of the United States.png Rochester Institute of Technology
2000 22px-Flag of the United States.png Texas A&M University 22px-Flag of the United States.png California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
1999 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Akron 22px-Flag of the United States.png Rochester Institute of Technology
1998 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1997 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University
1996 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1995 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1994 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
1993 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University
1992 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University
1991 22px-Flag of the United States.png Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
1990 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1989 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1988 22px-Flag of the United States.png Cornell University
1987 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Maryland - College Park
1986 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1985 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1984 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Houston
1983 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Arlington
1982 22px-Flag of the United States.png University of Texas at Austin
1981 22px-Flag of the United States.png Stevens Institute of Technology


See also

External links

Team Links