Formula SAE (FSAE) is an intercollegiate engineering design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where student teams design, build, and race formula-style cars. FSAE began in the USA in 1978, and now includes hundreds of international teams that compete in eight competitions around the world.
The FSAE series is internationally regarded as one of the most rigorous collegiate design competitions. Each year, teams spend 8 to 12 months preparing for competition.
The concept of the competition is for students to design, build, and race a prototype formula-style vehicle. The prototype is marketed towards the non-professional, weekend autocross racer. It must be high-performance, low cost, easy to maintain, and suitable for manufacture at 1000 units per year. Students manage all aspects of the project like a small business, from the technical design to the management of an interdisciplinary team.
Teams have overwhelming freedom in the design of their cars. This is evident in the variety and ingenuity presented at each competition. Technical restrictions only exist to ensure safety, and do not limit creativity. Students engage a panel of industry judges to defend their design decisions with supporting analysis. Student drivers compete against the clock in a series of driving events to demonstrate real-world performance of their vehicles.
Business and Marketing
Building a racing car is not all engineering. Complex projects require strong leaders and a cooperative environment to succeed. In addition to managing the project, students must present a business case to a prospective manufacturer as well as a detailed manufacturing and cost analysis, showing complete understanding of what it takes to bring a product to market.
FSAE converts classroom knowledge to real world experience. Involvement in the complete design process is a unique educational opportunity.