A Description of Formula SAE

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When a few university professors got together 20 years ago to start a very informal SAE student design competition then known as Mini Indy, I doubt that any of them expected their efforts would change the world of motor racing and the lives of thousands of young men and women. Today this program, renamed Formula SAE ®, has become the world championship for college engineering students, and the training program for race car engineers and designers around the world. Teams from as far away as Korea, Japan and Mexico travel to the suburbs of Detroit each May for the big event. Satellite events have begun in the United Kingdom and Australia. Each year as many as 4,000 students are members of Formula SAE teams at universities around
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It also comes from stories shared with me by many different teams. Much of this is a subjective interpretation of my experience in the management end of a Formula project. I am human and fully capable of missing something. I expect people will disagree with some of the ideas presented. The opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect those of any organization I am now or have been affiliated with. Part I: Organizational Topics Where to Begin: The natural inclination of any FSAETM group is to begin by focusing on what car to build. While it is important to be thinking about design issues and ideas, in the early meetings you will probably not be able to create a definitive plan. Unless you have designed and built complete automobiles before, you should not make definitive decisions yet. There will be plenty of dialog and thought given to the car design without making it a priority yet. Students usually think the biggest problems will be technical. We embark on an FSAE project with grand visions of a fast, exciting racecar and can 't wait to get started designing and building it. What you find out right away, particularly if you are in a leadership position, is that the largest problems to overcome have less to do with actual hands-on design, construction, and driving of

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