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Thread: 2014 FSAE-Australasia

  1. #181
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    Z,

    With regards to traction control: on my last year on my team and as powertrain leader I wanted to implement traction control, but I was aware of the FE issues of using an ignition cut to do so (and I'm not sure your ETC idea would work from a looped control perspective; I would think it would hunt around quite a bit due to the capacitance between the throttle and combustion chamber on a FSAE car; though possibly it could just use a lookup table based on groundspeed or something). Instead I implemented a gear position sensor (the CBR600F4 engine didn't come with one) that in turn determined which aim turbo speed and which fuel map to use (i.e. gear dependent tuning, 3 speed gearbox), and was able to theoretically save a bunch of fuel (I had a dyno graph for each gear and the amount of power curve cut out, particularly in 1st gear, was enormous). This was a 190kg car without aero and with 72kW and a little over 100Nm, so was very often traction limited. Anyway, this method requires a turbo.... and wasn't actually all that effective in practice (although the dyno graphs are pretty darn cool).
    Jay

    UoW FSAE '07-'09

  2. #182
    Teams, check your Dropboxes

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Monash View Post
    What a great link, thanks for that Bob.

    I think they hit the nail on the head, with their creativity and innovation model.
    This framework neatly accounts for the similarity and difference between useful and not useful innovative ideas, and explains why you can't have one without the other.

    This is why I think that innovation should not be rewarded for its own sake, particularly at the FSAE level.
    Successful innovation should be its own reward.
    Take inspiration from the best ideas or solutions around, explore them, understand them and their weaknesses, and then if (and only if) you see potential benefits to innovating, then do so.
    Do not think that different is always better, its not.
    Do not expect a hand out just because something is different, particularly if you cant demonstrate why it needed to be.
    This kind of thinking is probably an artefact of the "copying culture" that the article discusses and the workshop tries to break down, as a key inhibitor to the cooperative design process.
    Have a health amount of respect for what has come before, you are not the first engineer to walk the earth.

    Teams that state that their primary mission in FSAE is to "be the most innovative" scare the hell out of me.
    Completely abandoning convention invites multi-faceted disaster.
    In my opinion, the path to success lies in maintaining a delicate and measured tension between convention and innovation.
    And not fooling yourself.
    We are engineers, let the data be your guide.
    I notice with disappointment the latest Design Judging guidelines released by SAE (http://www.fsaeonline.com/content/FS...et%20150pt.pdf) still include a "Creativity" category.

    Guidelines for scoring Creativity include:

    "Will this car cause a rule change?" Given the 2015 rules changes, this would make the 2014 GFR, Monash, and other "big aero" cars some of the most creative of all time. :^)

    "Have the judges learned something new?" Depends too much on the corporate knowledge of the judges. I've witnessed Design Judges describe as "new" an idea that I've seen on an FSAE car at competition 10 years previous. And too many times, I've seen ideas that did not increase the point scoring performance of the car rewarded by the design judges for being "different".

    The related article on the workshops they ran is even more interesting and relevant:

    http://www.haakonfaste.com/fastefoun...curriculum.pdf

    If there are any materials from those workshops that you could share with me Bob, I would really appreciate it.
    Are the authors still active in design teaching (this was all published some time back)?
    Are the workshops still running?
    Unfortunately, I did not walk away from the workshop with a big binder of material like Claude gives out in his seminars. The workshop was completely immersive and experiential. The participants were also, it turned out, experimental subjects, as the instructors tried differing exercises and course structures throughout the 5 or so years they taught the class.

    I do have some good references to experiential creativity exercises (many used in the Stanford workshop) that I have incorporated into my design classes:

    "Experiences in Visual Thinking" and/or "Thinking Visually: A Strategy Manual for Problem Solving" both by Robert McKim. (Both out of print, but used copies available used on Amazon.)
    "Conceptual Blockbusting" by James Adams
    "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards (good sketching skills beget creative engineering solutions, don't they Z?)

    and two references on Jung/Myers-Briggs personality types:
    "Please Understand Me II" by Keirsey & Bates
    "Type Talk at Work" by Kroeger and Thuesen

    Stanford no longer does the workshop. Sadly, Rolf Faste passed away 10 years ago. Bernie Roth and Doug Wilde both retired, but Doug is still active in work on team based creativity and the use of MBTI in forming creative teams. I use his theories for team formation in my junior-level design methodology class, a prerequisite for the senior capstone design class that produces our BajaSAE and FormulaSAE cars. Interested forum members should search "Teamology."

    It is also good to see that a lot of what they are talking about has slowly, over time, become best practice in the broader education sphere, not just engineering (even though not that many engineering academics are aware of these developments just yet, the inertia is great due to learned teaching techniques as stated in the article). I am personally working hard to push the flipped classroom teaching model, cooperative learning, peer-assisted teaching, heterogeneous team selection and peer assessment for group work in all of my design subjects and more broadly within my faculty. Its still early days but we are slowly making progress, much of which is driven by student feedback and unit review scores.

    Students, if you are lucky enough to experience some of these techniques (applied well) and feel that they are more beneficial to your learning, please make that fact known. It takes take but universities are listening.

    For others interested in this field (and it is very relevant to FSAE teams) I would also recommend the work of Felder and Brent (their Cooperative Learning Workshop was the highlight of my academic career), and Prince.

    I have a lot more to reply to, with respect to discussions further back in this thread but that is going to take some time so I will leave it till I am back in the office.

    Cheers,

    Scott
    The sad reality is too many of my fellow engineer faculty focus solely on the physical science, and disregard and dismiss the appropriate application of that science to solve real problems involving people. I'm lucky in that OSU has a strong core of faculty active in research and teaching in design theory and methodology. There is a lot of interest in creativity and innovation in engineering design, and more universities that are incorporating design theory into their engineering curricula. Most of the push is coming from mechanical engineering, especially the ASME Design Theory and Methodology Committee and their conference.

    IMHO, good design process is the foundation of a successful FSAE team. I consider it one of the strengths of Global Formula Racing.
    Bob Paasch
    Faculty Advisor
    Global Formula Racing team/Oregon State SAE

  4. #184
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    As a followup to the above post, while the references provided give a good overview of creativity problem solving and innovative thinking, they don't talk about the nuts and bolts of design process. Here are some good references on product design process:

    "The Mechanical Design Process" by David Ullman
    "Product Design and Development" by Ulrich and Eppinger
    "Product Design: Techniques in Reverse Engineering and New Product Development" by Otto and Wood
    "Engineering Design" by Dieter and Schmidt

    I prefer the first two, they are the most concise treatments of the subject. I am a very strong believer in students gaining mastery of this material before they do senior capstone design.
    Bob Paasch
    Faculty Advisor
    Global Formula Racing team/Oregon State SAE

  5. #185
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    [This taken from Bob's post above, but similar words repeated by many others:]
    There is a lot of interest in creativity and innovation in engineering design...
    I am going to be a PITA and split some hairs here.

    When members of this Forum are reminded that the Rules state,
    "A1.1.1. To give teams the maximum design flexibility and the freedom to express their 'C&I' .....",
    most people translate this "C&I" as "creativity and INNOVATION".

    BUT (!!!), in fact, the "I" stands for IMAGINATION. There is a big difference!

    I suspect that this subconscious interpretation of "I stands for innovation" is a result of the nowadays overuse of this buzz-word, mostly by industries and University departments that never produce a skerrick of it, but nevertheless find that using the word improves sales...

    (Note that I am NOT directing this at Bob's or anyone else's school in particular, just making a general observation. I have a friend who wholesales egg products (err, that's the yolks, and/or the whites...) packaged in plastic "wine-skins". He named the company "Innovatech". Yep, catchy, innovative, hi-tech name, with several layers of meaning. Oops, another one...)
    ~o0o~

    Anyway, some questions to ponder.

    1. Which of "INNOVATION" or "IMAGINATION" is more important to foster in young Engineers?

    2. Which of the above two is the more "fundamental" skill required of good Engineers?

    3. Are the above "I"s independent skills, or is one an "enabler", or "catalyst", or perhaps even a "prerequisite", of the other?

    Neatest correct entry gets ... an EXTRA 3/200 points in DE!

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 01-08-2015 at 08:50 PM.

  6. #186
    Kettering University Vehicle Dynamics
    Formula SAE 2010 - 2015
    Clean Snowmobile Powertrain 2012 - 2015

    Boogityland 2015 - Present

  7. #187
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    1. Imagination
    2. Imagination
    3. Imagination is the enabler.

    Do I win?

    On a personal note, I realise that I myself am not very imaginative. It's a bit of a weakness for sure, but I often find myself making others realise that their heads are in the clouds and together we can come up with a better solution (a more innovative one perhaps?). Maybe that means I have half the skills required to be a real engineer, though I think you'd find that in the 'real world' that university/FSAE is supposed to be preparing people for, there's greater demand for an analytical engineer vs. an imaginative one
    Jay

    UoW FSAE '07-'09

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Lawrence View Post
    1. Imagination
    2. Imagination
    3. Imagination is the enabler.

    Do I win?
    Jay,

    Yes! But WHAT do you win?

    Well ... I reckon your answers have gotta be worth at least 3 points out of 1,000!
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Some further thoughts on IMAGINATION.

    ... in the 'real world' ..., there's greater demand for an analytical engineer vs. an imaginative one.
    This is puzzling because it suggests that "imaginative" = "IMPRACTICAL". This is, IMO, completely back-to-front.

    My view is best explained by thinking about how someone, say a Young Engineer, can develop their "Imaginative Skills". This is an EASY thing to do (again IMO), because, like all skills, it just requires PRACTICE.

    But practice of what?

    From my dictionary,
    "imagination, n. 1. the faculty or action of producing mental images... ",
    and digging a bit deeper,
    "image ... from Latin 'imago' = a copy...".

    So, really, "imagination" is nothing more than "recalling", or "recollecting", or "remembering" visual copies of stuff you have seen before.

    Imagination is simply the pictures you form in your head, when thinking of things you have seen in the past.

    The more wild, and crazy, and DIFFERENT things you see in the real world, then the better your imagination. I reckon people who are described as being "exceptionally imaginative" might, in fact, have a sort of high-speed but slightly faulty "image projector" in their heads, and are mixing up some of those pictures.

    Anyway, I reckon an "Imaginative Engineer" is nothing more than someone who has seen a tremendous amount of the "prior art", in every possible field ... err ... imaginable , and can remember most of it. (Edit->) Which should make them quite PRACTICAL.

    So when IE's customer comes along, which might be a FS-Supervisor/Team-Leader, and asks for an "imaginative" solution to some problem, then IE simply sits back, looks at the place where mental images form best (might be the ceiling, or the floor just in front of their feet), and starts sifting through said images.
    "Hmmm..., well there's that interesting grumlink that used to hang off the back of old Fergies... Or the scarpum-bone on an Armadillo might do it. Yeah, those natural solutions usually work well... Or maybe the front half of a grumlink stuck on the rear half of a scarpum-bone... Or I once saw a..."
    ~o0o~

    Bottom line, if you students want to develop your "Imaginative Skills" so you can build a REALY FAST CAR, then you should spend a lot more time climbing around car-wreckers' yards, or at Historic Racecar days, or in the bone-room at the local Museum (*), and so on...

    (And the next step to FAST CAR is to apply your Critical Thinking Skills as you sift through all those imaginative images...)

    Z

    (* Literally, "home of the Muses", and "Muse, n. a goddess that inspires a creative artist...".)
    Last edited by Z; 02-10-2015 at 09:11 PM.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Lawrence View Post
    1. Imagination
    2. Imagination
    3. Imagination is the enabler.

    Do I win?

    On a personal note, I realise that I myself am not very imaginative. It's a bit of a weakness for sure, but I often find myself making others realise that their heads are in the clouds and together we can come up with a better solution (a more innovative one perhaps?). Maybe that means I have half the skills required to be a real engineer, though I think you'd find that in the 'real world' that university/FSAE is supposed to be preparing people for, there's greater demand for an analytical engineer vs. an imaginative one
    And don't I know it....
    Geoff Pearson

    RMIT FSAE 02-04
    Monash FSAE 05
    RMIT FSAE 06-07

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

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