Sophia University Leverages PTC Pro/ENGINEER to Capture Consecutive National Titles for Its Formula SAE Race Car Designs

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 22, 2009 PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), The Product Development Company®, today announced that “Sophia Racing,” the Sophia University Japan formula SAE racing team, has standardized on Pro/ENGINEER® for the design of all its formula racing vehicles. Sophia Racing began using Pro/ENGINEER in 2005 and quickly achieved prominence, becoming the first team in the history of the Formula SAE Competition of Japan to win three championships in a row, in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Sophia Racing’s success continued with a third place victory at the world championship competition in 2008, a first for a team from Asia.

Formula SAE is a racing vehicle design competition for automotive technology students hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Its events have been held around the world since the first one took place in the U.S. in 1981. The Formula SAE competitions are judged on dynamic and static criteria, requiring a very advanced level of overall vehicle quality. The dynamic criteria include an evaluation of the vehicle’s movement and turning capacities. The static criteria, on the other hand, include a per-vehicle production cost analysis of the various costs that go into production process, an evaluation of the innovation in the vehicle’s overall design, and, finally, a judging on presentation of the development of the vehicle. One of the required elements in the competition is to demonstrate the ability to produce four vehicles a day, spending no more than $25,000 per vehicle.

Sophia Racing has demonstrated its prominent technical capabilities in developing top-class racing vehicles using Pro/ENGINEER for all the processes needed for the vehicle development, from the sketching of clay models to detailed and mold design, to the manufacture of the power train, chassis and aero-dynamic components. Using a “back-to-the-basics” principle, Sophia has made full use of Pro/ENGINEER’s strengths to address challenges in lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity and enhancing its engine power, as well as for conducting stress and aerodynamic analyses.

In order to improve the aerodynamics and to lower the center of gravity of its vehicle, the team was able to easily modify the model parametrically and perform stress analyses on the model using Pro/ENGINEER MECHANICA®. The challenge of maintaining the stiffness in the chassis design was overcome through the use of this Pro/ENGINEER simulation module to perform FEM analyses for all parts as well as fatigue analyses where necessary. The surfacing and reflection analysis capabilities of Pro/ENGINEER were also fully leveraged for the cowling design.

“At the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, we use Pro/ENGINEER in a required course for sophomores and above in order to develop engineering resources through practical engineering education,” says Takashi Suzuki, Supervisor of Sophia Racing and Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sophia University. “Pro/ENGINEER is the best tool for us because of its rich functionality and the ease-of-use for students who are learning best-practices product development. The top-down design approach increased the efficiency of our work, and has become one of the key strengths of Sophia Racing’s machine development.”

“The recent victory of Sophia Racing demonstrates the talent of the students as well as their ability to leverage the powerful capabilities of Pro/ENGINEER to develop award winning racing vehicles,” says Michael Campbell, senior vice president, Product Management, PTC. “We're pleased that Sophia Racing was able to achieve this victory with a car designed and developed with Pro/ENGINEER and congratulate the students on their success."

Pro/ENGINEER was introduced to Sophia University through Rikei Corporation, a PTC Platinum Partner and Authorized Reseller.

About Sophia University and Sophia Racing

Founded in 1913, Sophia University remains one of the best private Catholic universities in Japan. Sophia University first participated in Formula-SAE in 2000 as a member of the “Team Challenge Nippon” formed by several members of the Kanto regional group of the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan. In May 2001, the university formed the “Sophia Racing” team and began participating in the competition as an independent college team operating under the motto, “Prove to the World,” which expresses their hope of communicating Japan’s technological innovations to the world. The team was the first and only team among the participants from Japan to attach a rear wing, for which they won special awards for the uniqueness of their design and the excellence of their frame design.

Sophia University Web site:

Sophia Racing Web site:

About PTC’s Global Education Program

PTC's education program provides teachers and professors with complete learning solutions to prepare a new generation for success in a technological world. From secondary school to the university level, PTC gives students the ultimate in product development education by providing software, training and classroom materials to educators worldwide. The PTC education program is a part of a technological literacy movement that seeks to improve critical thinking and multidimensional problem-solving skills as well as preparing a growing number of students to become engineers.

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