Auburn University Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) race team is an organization dedicated to giving engineering students hands-on experience, where they design, build, and race an open-wheel style race car. This is valuable experience for these engineers because what is learned in the classroom does not always translate directly to the job market. This extra edge that our engineers bring to the workforce puts them ahead of other engineers in the job market because of the hands-on experience they already have in taking ideas and making them a reality.
Each year, we go through the process of designing, building, testing, and racing a purpose-built racing vehicle against other colleges around the world. Design season begins in the fall, when our engineers are given a specific component of the vehicle to make an innovative design that they will have to defend at competition in the summer. The design process requires that our engineers show weekly progress to their teammates, where they are expected to give a presentation documenting what they did, show how the newly-designed component is better than previous designs, and provide simulation results proving that their designs are up to the high standards the team demands of its engineers. Once the car is designed, we transition to the build phase where our team spends thousands of hours fabricating and machining parts in our shop. Once the car is built, we transition to a race team, where the car is tested and tuned to be the quickest vehicle we can produce. During the summer, we take our car to competitions where we compete against a handful of the 500 Formula SAE teams from around the world. In previous years we have competed at Michigan International Speedway, Lincoln Airpark (Lincoln, Nebraska), and the Hockenheimring Grand Prix track in Hockenheim, Germany.
Auburn University’s Formula SAE (AUFSAE) team got its start in 1996 and has continued to improve exponentially ever since. In 2013, our team took 2nd place overall at competition at Lincoln, Nebraska. At Formula SAE Michigan in 2014 we achieved 8th place in Endurance, 13th in Acceleration, 8th in Fuel Economy, and 7th place overall out of 120 teams. That same year at Formula SAE Nebraska the team placed 4th in Design, 3rd in Presentation, 1st in Acceleration, and 18th overall out of 80 teams.