Home' Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine : Australian Auto Aftermarket e-Zine - Feb 13 Contents MONASH UNIVERSITY SCORES FOURTH
FORMULA SAE-A WIN
The Monash University Formula SAE-A team demonstrated its dominance by
winning its fourth consecutive Australasian event in Melbourne last December.
Losing only 100.6 points across the seven
competition events, Monash achieved 899.4
points with second place Edith Cowan
University gaining 773 points and third place
University of Wollongong earning 698.4.
Organised by the Society of Automotive
Engineers - Australasia (SAE-A), the
international engineering education
competition was run during the 2012
academic year with students designing and
manufacturing a specialist auto cross race car
in their university workshop.
The car is built to a specific set of formula
regulations with a $50,000 budget limit.
After testing their cars at home, the teams
then met from December 6-10, 2012 at the
Victoria University Werribee campus training
track near Melbourne where the competition
scoring events were held.
The highly regarded Australasian
competition attracts teams from across the
region and there were dual entries from Japan
and New Zealand.
There were two electric vehicle entries
(RMIT and Swinburne universities), four
racers using E85 fuel and the rest of the 21
entries used 98 Pulp fuel.
Producing practical professionals
The Australasian Formula SAE-A event has
been a feature of the regional engineering
education calendar for 12 years.
It is part of a prestigious international
series of Formula SAE competitions held
throughout Asia, Europe and the USA.
The Formula SAE-A program is renowned
for producing top engineering 'graduates'
because the competition engages students in
a real life engineering education experience
involving every aspect of project management.
Students have only a faculty advisor to
assist with occupational health and safety,
research sources and academic issues.
Demand for Formula SAE-A graduates is
not limited to the automotive industry, where
they are employed by vehicle and component
manufacturers and V8 Supercar and Formula
They are also sought for their engineering
skills by the aerospace, electronics, intelligent
transport systems, mining and rail industries.
Winged wonders win
Following Monash tradition, the winning
car used wings at front and rear, which are
developed in the university's research wind
Also sprouting wings to take second place
was the Edith Cowan University car.
They made an impressive sight on the race
track together during the endurance event.
Although they add weight, these
aerodynamic devices can improve traction and
enable higher speed in corners.
However, in their pursuit of improved
aerodynamic performance, the former
Formula SAE-A powerhouse University of
Western Australia designed and entered a car
for the 2012 competition that featured a
carbon composite under tray attached to the
underside of the suspension.
Following discussion with the judges about
the legality of the design, the University of
Western Australia withdrew from the 2012
Making a much smaller footprint on track,
the 2012 University of Wollongong car
returned this once powerful team to the elite
echelon. This university produced the first
Australian team to compete internationally in
Formula and in May 2003 the University
of Wollongong became the first overseas team
to win the Formula SAE competition in
Since then, RMIT has won Formula
Student in the UK, the USA competition in
Detroit and the FISITA Championship in the
UK.The University of Western Australia also
has won the Formula SAE-A competition in
The prominence of Australian teams in
international Formula SAE competition is
highlighted in the current standings with four
universities in the top world 50 - Monash
University is second, Swinburne University
17th, Edith Cowan University 25th and
Wollongong University 47th.
Good performance across all seven events
is critical to winning a Formula SAE-A
The competition includes static events
involving student presentations and
inspections by judges, such as cost reports,
presentation skill and engineering design.
On the action front, events include
acceleration tests, skid pad, autocross and the
combined endurance/economy track test.
Monash University won the engineering
design, autocross, skid pad and combined
Edith Cowan took out the acceleration and
endurance events while Swinburne University
won the electric vehicle category.
Given the prestige of the Formula SAE-A
competition in the world of engineering, top
students are attracted to those universities
that support the program.
The majority of engineering faculties at
Australian universities support teams and
another driver for the popularity of the
competition is the demand for its graduates,
who have a year or two of practical project
management skills and experience that
greatly enhances their performance once on
the job, whether it be designing race car
components or engineering equipment for the
12 AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2013
Joining the winged design trend for 2012 was
second place winner Edith Cowan University.
Back on the podium after a long absence was former
Formula SAE-A power house Wollongong University. The
team took third place in the 2012 competition.
Making it four in a row, Monash University took the
honours at the 2012 Formula SAE-A competition
held in Melbourne last December.
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