Sleep Deprived Engineers @ Chalmers Formula

Sometimes (more than twice a day), I ask myself why am I doing Formula Student (FS) at Chalmers. Many international students take advantage of their time in Göteborg to explore Sweden, Scandinavia, and Europe. Speaking to other international friends, they always have trips coming up. Last week, many went on a trip to Swedish Arctic… Easter is just around the corner and some friend is planning a trip to soak up port wine in sunny Portugal…

final presentation

I love travelling. However I have to compromise, doing Formula Student is anonce-upon-a-lifetime opportunity, while Ibiza will still be there for a while longer. So I opted for… computer lab and machine shop.


Så,what is Formula Student?

I won’t be retelling the odyssey of a Chalmers FS engineering student here. In short, many students get the opportunity to develop a vehicle in 10 month. Such a task normally takes industry 5-10 years!

But the benefits are evident: both for students and employers.

What do students get?

  • Eye bags
  • Technical knowledge
  • Hands-on skills: putting theory into practice
  • Opportunity to get in touch with many local engineering companies (companies that do really cool things)

What do employers get?

  • Students that understands the product development cycle
  • Students that are highly analytical and make data-driven decisions
  • Very hard working students, who are willing to sacrifice sleep to accomplish arduous task


Last Monday, the team was put on its first challenge – Formula Student Germany (FSG) Rule Quiz.

The FSG competition is a very popular event. Every year, more than 200 teams from around the world compete for 110 spaces available. To make the selection process fair, the event organizers created a rule quiz – 10 multiple choice quiz based on 250 pages of FS vehicle design rulebook.

rule quiz meeting

A team must first pass a rule quiz before allowed to register. The team takes the quiz together. The spots are made available in the order of teams that passed the quiz. In the electric vehicle class, there are about 80 teams competing for 30 spots.

It was a stressful quiz for everyone. The last time I studied this hard for any exam was probably the American university entrance exam – the SATs… I confess the FSG rule quiz made my Christmas holidays far less enjoyable.


The team coped with pressure. I was impressed by the engineering knowledge held by the team members. We practiced for an entire weekend together. We each had our area of specialties and we became really fast at it.


Erik right before the rule quiz. 11:49. 11 mins until rule quiz starts.

Extraordinarily, we were the first to finish the quiz on registration day! (1o spots are reserved for 2014 season top finishers and four non-European teams)


Watch out for Electric Racecar #60!

At the same time it was really sad to see many other strong teams “wait-listed” (ie. They didn’t complete the rule quiz fast enough before the spots ran out).


Some newsletters about the life as a master’s student living the Formula Student life… enjoy!


maintaining team morale is just as important…meanwhile I am boiling 40 sausages to feed the hungry engineers… seriously



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Chinese-Canadian Automotive Engineering graduate from TU Chalmers. Contact me if you have questions or just want to grab a beer at gimmygoteborg (at) gmail!
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