In the past year alone, Texas A&M University, The University of Applied Sciences Stralsund (Germany), National University of Singapore, and RV College of Engineering in Bangalore (India) - all using SolidWorks and COSMOS software - have logged noteworthy results in Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions worldwide.
Organized by the Society for Automotive Engineers, Formula SAE competitions give students a rare opportunity to conceive, design, fabricate, and race small cars styled after Formula One vehicles. Frame and engine restrictions challenge students' creativity while lowering risks. Formula Student is the program's European counterpart, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in the UK, Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) in Germany, and Associazione Tecnica dell'Automobile (ATA) in Italy.
A Texas A&M University team of student engineers won the 2006 Formula SAE West competition in June at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA. The four-day event drew teams from 71 universities in the United States and eight other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and Venezuela. In addition to its overall win, the Texas A&M team finished first in the competition's endurance/economy and skid pad events, and won the Honda Dynamic Events Award and the Road & Track magazine award for acceleration and agility.
"Our entry this year featured a new supercharged Yamaha engine that enabled a 60-pound weight reduction in the car with the same power-to-weight ratio," said Make McDermott, Texas A&M faculty advisor. "SolidWorks software helped us integrate these and other changes to design a better car well within our deadline. COSMOS helped us confirm our designs were on target and optimize stiffness vs. weight for maximum performance. The dramatic productivity gains enabled by SolidWorks and COSMOS have allowed us to remain competitive as the performance required to win has escalated each year. The integration of the tools made design and analysis two elements of a single process." Team sponsors include authorized SolidWorks reseller Texas Engineering Systems.
The University of Applied Sciences Stralsund defended its title as best German team in July at Formula Student 2006 in Bruntingthorpe, U.K. The team placed sixth overall among 63 teams that started, earning additional top 10 placements in sprint and endurance/fuel economy. In early August, during the inaugural, SolidWorks-sponsored Formula Student Germany event in Hockenheim, the team placed seventh overall and third place in the cost competition.
"SolidWorks software helped us continuously refine our design for the competition, and COSMOS software helped us make our design ultra-efficient, a key factor in making the car economical and for our third-place finish in the cost competition," said team leader Jens Hartmann.
SolidWorks Corporation is sponsor of the team and of Formula Student Germany, which attracted entries from 41 teams representing universities and technical colleges from 11 countries. "So many German institutions and students are passionate about automotive engineering, racing, and Formula competition that there was little choice but to create Formula Student Germany," said Lutz Bettels, SolidWorks Corporation's business manager for Europe education. "Formula Student is an excellent opportunity for ambitious students to prove their engineering skills in a genuine engineering project and transfer their knowledge about SolidWorks' 3D CAD products into a project that prepares them for their professional life."
The National University of Singapore (NUS) team finished first among Asian teams at the International Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) race held May 17-20 in Michigan. Its car, Centennial II, was ranked ninth in the world for overall design and finished in 27th place overall out of 140 teams. The team was the only competitor from a country that does not manufacture cars nor host auto racing events. SeaCAD Technologies, an authorized SolidWorks reseller in Singapore, was included among the sponsors.
"SolidWorks and COSMOS software made it easy for our team to translate good ideas into a higher-performing vehicle and then dial it in for competition," said NUS FSAE faculty advisor and Associate Professor Seah Kar Heng. "This project has been an enriching experience in itself and invaluable preparation for students' careers after college."
The RV College of Engineering in Bangalore, India, won the Best Endeavour Award and Best Cost event at the recent FSAE-Australasia. The team will field an improved design, the Ashwa RZ 06, at the FSAE-Australasia competition this December. The new vehicle, built on a 600 cc Honda engine, weighs only 240 kilograms (530 pounds) but will be turbocharged to turn out more than 90 brake horsepower. "SolidWorks software helped us quickly make design improvements, and COSMOS helped us ensure that our designs would perform safely and efficiently on the track," said student Arun Raj. "We're looking forward to even better results in December 2006."
"These Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions are once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities that provide substantial engineering experiences that prepare students for careers on high-performing design teams," said Marie Planchard, SolidWorks Corporation's director of education. "SolidWorks and COSMOS are important elements of that experience given their pervasiveness in the engineering world and their focus on ease of use, which frees students to focus on designing faster, safer, more economical vehicles."
About SolidWorks Corporation
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, providing intuitive, high-performing software that helps product design teams develop great products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).
SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOS is a registered trademark of Structural Research & Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.
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