Is there less to do if you don't study engineering?
Not at all. Our team is required to manage all of its own marketing, budgeting, sponsorship, occupational health and safety, and logistics planning to name a few. As such, almost any area of study within the University has relevance to Formula SAE and UQ Racing.
How much of the car does the team actually make?
Around 85% of the car is designed and built by our team! In order to minimise cost and maximise learning, we are encouraged to produce as much as we can ourselves. Some components simply must be purchased and are incorporated into our design, for example certain electrical components such as the ECU (Engine Control Unit), pump controllers, and traction control multiplexer are produced externally. However, the majority of the car is designed by the team and manufactured with the help of the University’s professional mechanical engineering workshop. In this workshop, we are able to weld and machine many components such as the chassis, suspension members, uprights and brake rotors.
How will this help our student’s future career prospects?
Formula SAE, a student design competition we compete in every year, exists to provide students with the chance to experience hands-on work while they study. This hands-on experience boosts performance in relevant coursework, increases confidence in one's abilities, and assists our students to stand out when looking for employment after graduating.
FSAE is an important experience for anyone looking at entering the automotive or motorsport engineering fields - many of our alumni are now working in these fields. However, the experience gained by being involved in this team can be applied to almost all careers.
Who gets to drive it?
Every team member who has shown dedication throughout the year, will get a chance to drive the car. Our driver selection process for competitions takes into account a driver’s accuracy, lap times, and dedication to the team - in that order.
How fast does it go?
Both our 2019 electric and internal combustion cars were able to accelerate from 0-100 in under 4 seconds, with a top speed of 120km/h. However, the purpose of the Formula SAE competition is not speed alone. The circuits usually limit the speed to an average of 60km/h by implementing chicanes, hairpins and other relevant obstacles which test our cornering speeds and general mobility.
Fun Fact: At 130km/h our cars are able to drive upside down thanks to our talented aerodynamics team!
Has the team ever won anything?
We have won many awards over the course of our time as a team since 2001. We have placed on the podium in both EV and IC divisions for the competition overall a few times, and have won several individual awards in FSAE-A (Winton), the FS-UK (UK), and FSG (Germany) both on track and in the static events. We are still yet to place first overall in a Formula Student event, however after placing second last year in both EV and IC divisions, we have high hopes for the near future.