Tag Archives: engineering

CFS16 during endurance test in FSG 2016

THE ultimate engineering competition.

A few months ago, it never crossed my mind to be involved in a project as big as Formula Student, and if we go even further it never crossed my mind being in Sweden, and you know what, that is exactly what I like about decision making, ultimately every single decision will take you one step closer to a new adventure.

First things first, what is Formula Student? And why is it so big? If I had to explain Formula Student (Formula SAE) as simple as possible the only thing that comes to my mind is: THE most challenging engineering competition in the student environment.

CFS16 during Formula Student Germany ©

Formula Student

In my dictionary, engineering means developing and pushing an idea to the limit defined by science (the fun part is when you go over the limit). Now, let’s move on to the question what is Formula Student? Well, Formula Student is the world largest engineering competition at student level, just to give you an example; 249 teams from all over the world participated in registration to take a place in the event held in Germany!

Basically, each university team designs, builds, tests and present their concept of a single seat, open wheel formula racecar. The competition is not won by the team with the fastest car, but rather by the team with the best overall package of construction, performance, and financial and sales planning. The car is assessed through different events, both static and dynamic.To test the performance of the car, dynamic events like acceleration, skidpad and endurance take place during competition. Car is also judge in design, cost and in business planning.

I mentioned that the competition is in Germany previously, but the competition is not exclusively held in Germany. There are 10 different competitions around the world: Michigan, 2 events in Nebraska, Australia, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, and finally Japan. Germany being the most challenging and competitive one.

Formula Student involves a tremendous amount of effort from everyone in the team, it’s a project that extends for over a year, since the formation of the team until the last day of competition. Moreover, Formula Student it’s not just building a car, it is one of the best ways of getting experience.


CFS16 during Formula Student Germany ©

CFS16 during Formula Student Germany ©

Chalmers Formula Student

This year I have the fortune of being part of the Chalmers Formula Student (CFS17) Team, one of the top teams in the world (the best team in the world according to me but this is just me not being objective). Chalmers has performed quite good over the past years, just last year CFS16 ended up in the 6th place in UK; 2012, CFS12 won the competition in the UK; in 2014, CFS14 got the 3rd place in Germany, but this are only some of the results that Chalmers has achieved over the years.

I joined CFS without knowing what I was about to do, without knowing the amount of time that I would put into a single project, without knowing the number of things that I would learn just by looking at what previous years have done. So far, it’s been quite challenging.

I am part of the Aerodynamics and Exterior Design subgroup, where I work with 2 more team mates adding wings into the car…I know it sounds crazy but trust me, wings are good for race cars. You can expect a post later regarding aerodynamics, right now I don’t want to bore you with engineering facts.

To give you some context, the team consists of about 30 engineers, from different nationalities, everyone with a different background and from different academic programs. This is, in my opinion, one of our best advantages.

Right now we are building the car, every single component from the new complety re-design motors to the carbon fiber rims. CFS latest model will be running 1st of May (or at least that is the plan)

Stay tuned for the upcoming updates on Formula Student, I’m sure I will write again about it!




Vehicle Dynamics Test Track day @ AstaZERO

Long live SAAB! The fate of SAAB is an oscillating. It is a story frequently brought up by people in the automotive engineering/applied mechanics department. The company is flip-flopping between speculations of bankruptcy and restructuring. Many people around the world and in Sweden specially are sentimental towards the car that is “born from jets”. They are great cars!

The Automotive Engineering vehicle dynamics class had the joy of spending the day at the AstaZERO (Active Safety Test Area – Zero traffic accident) test track. It is a brand new testing facility opened in September 2014, and it is owned by TU Chalmers and SP (Technical Research Institute of Sweden). The track overview is shown above (sorry it is in Swedish).

testbana_2000[ref: http://www.nyteknik.se/tidningen/article3841629.ece]

The purpose of our visit was to conduct a vehicle dynamics lab in collaboration with NEV (National Electric Vehicle, the company that owns the SAAB cars brand). Yes, we got to drive SAAB test vehicles.

The goal of the lab is to help us develop a feel for complex vehicle behavior under motion. There were three tests: steady state cornering, frequency response, and accident avoidance maneuver.

DSC08127-001Steady state cornering: driving around a circle while increasing speed until the tires is starting to lose grip. The tarmac is wet and slippery. I think we got up to 65 km/h around a 14 m radius track before plowing wide.

Frequency response: practically doing slalom in a car to determine how responsive it is. Accident avoidance: at 60 km/h & try to avoid a “moose”. We had the chance to experience the difference ESP – Electronic Stability Control made in a car.


(Photo: Moose avoidance test, source: http://www.crankandpiston.com)


There was no real moose fortunately, just a row of pylons.


Video about AstaZero: