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Thread: How to make the design event better.

  1. #11
    Good! More...

    Come on everyone...

  2. #12
    Maybe the thread needs to be on a somewhat unrelated topic? This thread is will now be known as "Why skid pan should be worth more points than accel"
    Brent

    3rd world solutions for real world problems.

    UoA FSAE 2004-2008

  3. #13
    I think the inactivity is due the location within the forum, people only really read the open discussion.
    UQ Racing

  4. #14
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    Soon, soon...

    Much to write on this topic, but too much to do elsewhere...

    Z

  5. #15
    I'm asking myself if this is a FSAE Australasia forum right now... It is impressive how you guys from down under are able to discuss here.

    I try to share my views of the "European DE".
    My background: I was part of the most successful team in the Design Event in the last years. Zurich made all Design Finals since 2010 that we could get into and we won a lot of them (Sweep in 2013: UK, Germany, Austria, Italy; Won Austria and Spain 2012, 2nd in Germany, 4th in the UK and so on...).
    Do I think we were the "smartest" or the "most educated"? Not really. I think we figured out how to tackle a Design Event, we knew the right stuff, we had a lot of training and maybe after some time a reputation to be good in design. We actually wouldn't have made the UK Finals in 2013 but the Chief Judges "corrected" us in the Finals, where we won.

    I started doing Design Judging in 2014 in Austria, I judged Aero/Cooling and Main Concept/Project Management.
    To be honest, I was shocked.
    In Zurich I was responsible for writing and "proof reading" the Design Report for a long time, so I had a feeling what is considered a good report by the judges and what isn't.
    I read all design reports of the FSA competition. I think FSA has one of the best field world wide but what I read was sometimes really horrible. A lot of the reports were just rubbish. Z would have tackled all of them (Nearly all students took an example in the rules on how to write a bad engineering report. "Business words", not at all precise and so on).
    Even teams that built their 5th or 6th car weren't able to stick to the page limit or used a table of contents on the first page...

    So the first thing to improve for DE is to ensure that students hand in a good design report. If the judges get a bad report, they are not willing to put a lot of effort in it. They stick to their "basic line of questioning" without getting into the report. I think that is not the right way.
    I tried to give feedback to all the teams that I judged the day after Design. A lot of them were not interessted in what I said about their report. I'm looking forward to see the 2015 reports if they used my comments to make their reports a bit better. I don't say that there is one perfect way, but just putting a 3D drawing of your car on the extra page is just useless.

    The second thing: Judges should read the design report. I mean we had a really nice and friendly group of judges in Austria but I had several co-judges that didn't read a single report, didn't look at one drawing or didn't even prepare questions. I think that is terribly wrong. Not all judges are a GTS or a Stefan Liechti that prepare really well for that but a basic knowledge of the teams should be necessary.
    Maybe we could reduce the length of the Design Report to one page. Like an Executive Summary in the Business presentation. Just justify your top-level desicions so that it is a basis of your design judging but not more.

    I think it is not feasibly to have judges do an extra 2 days of preparation. It is difficult enough to get judges. Don't give them more work load.

    Next:
    In the judging, I have to give points from 0 to 20 in my category. I have maybe 10 teams. In my opinion it is not possible to rank all 10 of them "fairly". I have like 5-6 minutes after each judging to make notes (because the team should get feedback..) and make a judgement call on how many points that performance is worth.
    Well that's just one point. The other point is, all other judges have the same problem. At some competition this subjective is offset by some "chief judges" that look if some groups give higher points or not. At Austria this was done be making different judging groups for all teams (random selection of all judges so that every area of the car should be checked but it is not the same group twice).
    It is still difficult to look if you are "too nice" or "too strict" with your points. And nobody says what "a perfect score" would look like...

    To be honest I have no solution for this problem. It would be best to look at all teams and make a ranking as good as possible. But that is not possible for like 110 teams.

    One more point: The students should always have a back-up. I judged a really good design team in Austria in Aero. Their Aero guy wasn't at the competition, so I had to interview his understudy or something. I didn't know a thing. Not one thing. So I had to score them really low. That is frustrating.

    Last but not least: The scoring categories. I want to have a real "Main Concept" category where I can give points on how the team choose the concept and what they have done with it. So far this is not well judged in the DE.
    And yes, throw out stuff like "creativity" or "style". It is stupid.


    Z, I think "killing" the DE is not a good thing.
    Students "justifying" their solution is an important part of the job in my opinion. Some teams that don't have the resources to build an overall competition winner can still perform really good in Design and can show "the world" (aka their sponsers) that they are a good team.
    I think nearly all competitions are decided on the track. So yes, the fastest car probably is going to win the competition if they don't make an error. In 2013 GFR placed 13th in DE and won Germany... by 80 points.
    And yes, we all now know about the horrible 3/200 score. Geoff apologized. I think such a farce will not happen again. Please do not use it as an example for "killing DE" again. It is played out

    Last but not least: I think about 5-6 team members of us got an internship at really nice companies (LMP/F1) offered during design judging because the students impressed their judge. I think that is one good point.


    Cheers,
    Julian
    -------------------------------------------
    Alumnus
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

    2010-2011: Suspension
    2012: Aerodynamics
    2013: Technical Lead

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  6. #16
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    Some great feedback here.

    Just a quick point relating to Mitch's excellent idea about a design judges retreat. I don't think every judge needs to attend. Rather, a core group of Design Event staff could meet two weeks in advance and identify key points that should be discussed for each team, and prepare briefing notes for each design group for each car. This would include potential questions for the judges to ask on the day. I think such a retreat could help make the event more portable, since the structure of the design event questioning could be prepared in advance, and given to judges on the day - no matter where the event is held
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    Some great feedback here.

    Just a quick point relating to Mitch's excellent idea about a design judges retreat. I don't think every judge needs to attend. Rather, a core group of Design Event staff could meet two weeks in advance and identify key points that should be discussed for each team, and prepare briefing notes for each design group for each car. This would include potential questions for the judges to ask on the day. I think such a retreat could help make the event more portable, since the structure of the design event questioning could be prepared in advance, and given to judges on the day - no matter where the event is held
    Head judges from each category plus the head judge?

    That's 5, or 9 if it's a rep from each functional area. Manageable.

  8. #18
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    Yeah, I reckon that would be good GTS. The team leaders could then prepare questions for their individual team members, based on known area of expertise.

    Can't see why we couldn't teleconference the findings of the retreat to the known judges on the Sunday night, or some other reasonable time

    Cheers,

    Geoff
    Last edited by Big Bird; 01-14-2015 at 05:58 AM.
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  9. #19
    I think the first part of making the design event better is a consensus amongst all competitions on what design event is actually scored on. I know that FSUK has far more focus on manufacturability, performance v cost, etc. than FSG for example (not saying that that's a bad thing per se). So are we discussing design event in general or just design event for one competition?
    Daniel Muusers
    Formula Student Team Delft
    2010-2015

  10. #20
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    p.s. I was the nong who suggested and designed the Design Video. I think the motive was explained at the time - we didn't want to waste valuable time in the 15 minute design presentations doing top level overviews.

    I never saw the design video as compulsory, rather as an additional opportunity to impress and communicate with the judges. The one-take restriction, as for the restrictions on props, were imposed so as to limit the time and expense of the video shoot. I was hoping that the teams might give a quick overview of what they wanted to achieve with their designs - particularly what areas they considered to be important, and what areas were less important.

    As for dropping it because it has been poorly done - well a lot of teams do poorly at the Endurance Event. Should we drop that too??

    If it helps delineate between teams - then why not leave it in??
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

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