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Thread: How to make the design event better.

  1. #51
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    A quick point. FSAE is a uni competition. The types of people who run unis tend to not like motorsport. Would we have a choc wedge's chance in hell of getting uni support for this thing if we got rid of static stuff? It is the DE etc that helps us maintain we are an educational event.
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    A quick point. FSAE is a uni competition. The types of people who run unis tend to not like motorsport. Would we have a choc wedge's chance in hell of getting uni support for this thing if we got rid of static stuff? It is the DE etc that helps us maintain we are an educational event.
    To the University of Auckland and the School of Engineering the design event is the main event they want to win. It is pretty much is the only event that the facility can be a part of it's development, through design event practise and review. Auckland has always seen the Uni as a sponsor, who provides resources such as dynos, machinists, tow car and last year a brand new workshop fit out to the teams requirements (honestly I'm thinking of post grad so I can use it). Right or wrong, universities are ranked worldwide on the basis of their research, so they see the design event as the research part of the comp thus it is important to them.

    I used to work for a composite manufacturing company and we would receive at least 2 or 3 sponsorship proposals a month from motorsport teams, they all go straight in the bin. However the company sponsored the Auckland FSAE team, when I asked the owner why he did the reply was "they are not just another racecar, they are an educational project". We also sponsored/helped out a couple of local high schools with projects, but racers always paid full price. I know for a fact this was the case with a large number of other sponsors of the team and why we never had the word 'motorsport' in our sponsorship proposal or even the team name.
    Brent

    3rd world solutions for real world problems.

    UoA FSAE 2004-2008

  3. #53
    (Unsurprisingly Auckland's design efforts tend to end up with a good car).

    Frankly guys this is where the conversation needs to start for FSAE-A. DE as a tool for universities.

    There is less automotive relevance for graduates than there ever has been in the region, and competition for the project-based learning / research dollars in various faculties that currently fund FSAE in part are under threat.

    Some universities have made a great effort to integrate various parts of FSAE involvement into their curriculum, some have had it as a sort of indirect benefit and there's a spectrum in between and asides, but we need to have an honest chat about how to make it more relevant for universities.

    I don't for a second suggest that FSAE is just about automotive grads (though it we treat it as motorsport it's going to have a fairly limited scope). The design project delivery theme is valid in many disciplines as discussed, though a renewed focus how to make it even more relevant to universities would be great.

    I've heard suggestions as interesting as adding carbon accounting and requiring the teams have mock ISO 14001 accreditation (just an example - FSAE doesn't deal with any environmental engineering presently, however it's a growing field, and even in automotive a very prescient one). Some have suggested a careers and postgrad fair with the competition.

    I know of two universities that very nearly folded their teams this year; the threat is quite real.

  4. #54
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    Shortish responses, because I am currently in deep PMing with some Teams trying to build CHEAPER & FASTER cars.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    GTS,

    This is intended in a positive way, for the betterment of society in general.

    You have several times suggested that DE should be worth MORE points than its current 150. How many? 200? 300? More?

    You have also given many long posts explaining your views as to the direction that DE could go, or should go.

    But, quite honestly, and despite all your words, I have absolutely NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of what students would be expected to say or do in your DE to get a good score out of the now 200, or 300, or more (?) points on offer. I genuinely doubt that most students would know the answer to this either.

    More on this below, but I see this increasingly subjective direction of the competition that you are suggesting as a huge obstacle to producing better young Engineers.
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    Brent (Moke),

    If you dump the design event what checks are there to prevent blind copying of winning designs?
    (My emphasis.)

    Same as now. NONE!

    In Canterbury's first year, 2013, they came with a mini-F3 car, a fairly "blind copying" of what they initially thought FSAE was all about. In their second year, 2014, they came with a copy of Monash's 2013 car. For an even better example of "copying", look at Monash's last six (+?) cars... Or GFR's recent cars, and Swiftus's comments on them (page 4)...

    COPYING IS FINE, as long as you are clever enough to know WHAT to copy, and how to do it, and when to leave bits out, and when to make tiny changes... But, if you are NOT clever enough to do these things, then you fail on track. (See Canterbury's results...)
    ~o0o~

    Over a short time innovation will suffer, a few teams will develop a wining design and everyone else will just copy it. Before you know it there will be a paddock of cookie cutter brown go carts and the event will become only a build quality and driver event.
    ...
    FSAE will just become another motorsport event.
    NO, NO, no, no, no!!! Completely back-to-front!

    Sadly, Brent, you are showing your youthful ignorance. Yes, modern motorsport is all about "cookie cutter", boring, spec-cars. But that is only because some witless drones from several generations ago discovered that it is easier to make mega-bucks out of motorsport as (dull) "entertainment" by STAMPING OUT ALL INNOVATION, and instead focussing on the soap-opera techniques of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", the "Bold and Beautiful", and so on.

    But back when "real men" designed and drove racecars, there was ALWAYS NON-STOP PROGRESS. This happened because there was nothing like DE acting as an anchor (more below). Read the history books. Or use that google thingy. Try "Can-Am" for some relatively recent history...
    ~o0o~

    ... communication is a part of the job ... a doctor needs a good bedside manner.
    Piffle! Give me Dr Gregory House anyday! (More below. )
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    Harry,

    ...the DE ... is therefore (to me at least), something like the engineering discussions we all enjoy so much within these forums...
    ... One main flaw I have noted though, is sometimes the background and knowledge field of the DJ's.
    And therein lies the HUGE OBSTACLE that is DE. As I have said many times before, "EXPERTS" PREVENT PROGRESS.

    It is the nature of "progress", or that nowadays overused word "innovation", that only very few people can see the "right direction to go". Quite obviously, if everyone sees it, then it is simply "the standard way of doing things".

    It follows that out of any big group of DJs there will only be a tiny minority (possibly none at all) who will recognise that a Team is "heading in the right (but very UNUSUAL) direction", and give them a good score. The majority of other DJs will give that Team a low score "because they couldn't explain themselves". That is, most DJs are stuck in their narrow and deep little ruts and are unable to see out of them, no matter how well things are explained.

    This is a very common situation throughout society. In FSAE it currently puts a 150 point hurdle in front of any Teams trying to push the envelope. Maybe a 200, or 300 (?) point high hurdle in future.

    DESIGN EVENT IS AN ANCHOR, preventing progress.
    ~o0o~

    ... usually there's a strong correlation between DE points and dynamic performance, at least at European competitions.
    It was only a few pages ago that Bob was pointing out the exact opposite! Namely, GFR's low DE scores at FSG.

    But aside from the GFR/FSG anomalies, a ten year old could look at the Teams and their cars pre-event, pick the ones that are likely to do well in Dynamic Events, and then give a similar DE ranking.

    Any "correlation" means squat, IMO.
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    Moke (2),

    To the University of Auckland and the School of Engineering the design event is the main event they want to win.
    I rest my case on that one (ie. hope everyone agrees that DE is a huge "distraction" to many Teams).

    I also wonder if the above focus on DE explains Auckland's poor reliability in recent years?
    ~o0o~

    Right or wrong, universities are ranked worldwide on the basis of their research, so they see the design event as the research part of the comp thus it is important to them.
    So, hypothetically, if Auckland built a car that metaphorically "smashed the Sound-Barrier" out on track, but if they also did poorly in DE in that comp, then would, or should, the University shut them down because "they have done NO REAL RESEARCH"?

    Put another way, who thinks you can build a world-beating FSAE car ... accidentally?
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    Repeating one of the above points for emphasis...

    COMMUNICATION - The idea that good Engineers must NECESSARILY be good communicators is a load of codswallop.

    (And this idea is only gaining traction these days because there is so little need for good Engineering. Because ... TOO MUCH FOOD! )

    EG 1. The only footie on telly these days is soccer (Asian Cup). So, imagine you are one of the Coaches and you have to pick between two possible wingers. One is a wonderful guy, a really great communicator who tells cracking good jokes, but he is a little fat and slow. The other guy can run like the wind, when he strikes the ball it comes of his foot like a rifle bullet, but his "communication skills" amount to almost indecipherable grunting, which only two other players can understand.

    The Team has been doing poorly, and you get sacked if they lose again. Who do you pick?
    ~o0o~

    EG 2. You have major health problems. A very nice doctor with wonderful bedside manner has been treating you, but you are rapidly getting worse. A Dr G. House (from the TV show) says "... that nice doctor of yours is an IDIOT, you are a STUPID JERK for listening to him, and ..." he recommends a different treatment.

    You hear that Dr H has a very good track record at fixing people, and you cough up your left lung. Who do you pick?
    ~o0o~

    EG 3. Your country is at WAR and it needs better machinery. Or ... "The End". The HR Department has scoured the country for clever Young Engineers. Many of these YEs are exceptionally good communicators, but unfortunately their designs don't work too well, and keep breaking. However, another of these YEs, a rather odd young man, has already produced some exceptionally good, "neverfail", machines, but his explanations of how they work amount to indecipherable grunting.

    The enemy is storming the north-wall. You, and the whole country, desperately need a "Machine To Defend North-Wall". Who do you pick?

    I could go on (oops, too long already!), but I hope the message is clear.

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 01-23-2015 at 12:19 AM.

  5. #55
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    A bunch of young engineers enrol at university and join their FSAE team. The design task is a difficult one, and everyone comes into the event full of ideas about their own favourite vehicle bits. For the sake of finishing the car, compromises must be made. It can be a frustrating process – but the participants learn valuable lessons about teamwork, communication, and compromise. Some do it well, some don’t. As long as they are willing to put their differences aside for the better good of the team project, they will be better engineers for working through the process.

    A bunch of university engineering teams sign up to compete enrol at the annual FSAE event. The competition task is a difficult one, and everyone comes into the event full of ideas about their own favourite vehicle and how they will be competitive at the event. For the sake of finishing the event, compromises must be made. It can be a frustrating process – but the participants learn valuable lessons about teamwork, communication, and compromise. Some do it well, some don’t. As long as they are willing to put their differences aside for the better good of finishing the event, they will be better engineers for working through the process.

    A bunch of experienced engineers join an online forum to discuss how to improve the FSAE Design Event. The design task is a difficult one, and everyone comes into the forum full of ideas about their own favourite event improvements. For the sake of delivering the event, compromises must be made. It can be a frustrating process – but the participants learn valuable lessons about teamwork, communication, and compromise. Some do it well, some don’t. As long as they are willing to put their differences aside for the better good of the FSAE project, they will be better engineers for working through the process.

    Personally, I like the Design Event. It needs improvement, but we can all learn something from doing it, and we can all learn something by trying to improve it. Just because we haven’t found the right answer yet, doesn’t mean we should just give up on it.

    I see design in itself as the key area in which Australia needs to focus. We are good at it. But we don’t communicate this well to the outside world. Redesigning the design event might just be a good little project for our nation – it will help us find the words to describe and identify what good design is…
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Shortish responses, because I am currently in deep PMing with some Teams trying to build CHEAPER & FASTER cars.
    Please do let us know who so we can track their rise to the top or will we just know when they blow off design?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Sadly, Brent, you are showing your youthful ignorance. Yes, modern motorsport is all about "cookie cutter", boring, spec-cars. But that is only because some witless drones from several generations ago discovered that it is easier to make mega-bucks out of motorsport as (dull) "entertainment" by STAMPING OUT ALL INNOVATION, and instead focussing on the soap-opera techniques of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", the "Bold and Beautiful", and so on.

    But back when "real men" designed and drove racecars, there was ALWAYS NON-STOP PROGRESS. This happened because there was nothing like DE acting as an anchor (more below). Read the history books. Or use that google thingy. Try "Can-Am" for some relatively recent history...
    What part of FSAE is not motorsport can you just not grasp? Please can you point me to where the word motorsport is in the rules? I did a word search and found '0' results. However if you would kindly read Article 10: Rules of Conduct below:

    ARTICLE 10:RULES OF CONDUCT
    D10.1 Competition Objective – A Reminder
    The Formula SAE® event is a design engineering competition that requires performance demonstration of vehicles and is NOT a race. Engineering ethics will apply. It is recognized that hundreds of hours of labor have gone into fielding an entry into Formula SAE. It is also recognized that this event is an “engineering educational experience” but that it often times becomes confused with a high stakes race. In the heat of competition, emotions peak and disputes arise. Our officials are trained volunteers and maximum human effort will be made to settle problems in an equitable, professional manner.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    DESIGN EVENT IS AN ANCHOR, preventing progress.
    I really can't see how having to justify and prove design decisions prevents progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    ... ie. hope everyone agrees that DE is a huge "distraction" to many Teams.

    I also wonder if the above focus on DE explains Auckland's poor reliability in recent years?
    Pretty sure most would not agree that the design event is a distraction. It would only be a problem to teams that don't understand their design ie: one that copies blindly or uses options on an internet forum to build a car.

    And I am 100% sure that a few hours a month spent on design event practice has nothing to do with reliability. If that was the case then we could equally say that team members should be prevented from having friends, family time, root with the mrs/mr or more likely rubbing one out as these are only a distraction from "building a fast racecar". Hey lets get rid of all static events, skid pan, acceleration, autocross and fuel as these are a distraction from all the motorsporting we could be doing, then we will be "real men".

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    COMMUNICATION - The idea that good Engineers must NECESSARILY be good communicators is a load of codswallop.
    Ok, so if you can communicate you ideas effectively you are therefore a shit engineer? If you can show your boss why your bridge won't fall down and another design will, you must be wrong as you must be shit engineer and should not have been distracted by presenting your concept and just built it? You can have both communication skills and good engineering skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    EG 2. You have major health problems. A very nice doctor with wonderful bedside manner has been treating you, but you are rapidly getting worse. A Dr G. House (from the TV show) says "... that nice doctor of yours is an IDIOT, you are a STUPID JERK for listening to him, and ..." he recommends a different treatment.

    You hear that Dr H has a very good track record at fixing people, and you cough up your left lung. Who do you pick?
    Your wife just had an emergency C-section when giving birth to your first child which meant a spinal block and thus no working legs after. Middle of the night, the baby is awake and hungry in the bassinet which is out of reach. Buzz the nurse, ask for the baby and get told "no you need to do it yourself", exit nurse, baby still screaming, wife in tears until the room mate gets up and passes over the baby. Next day stitches are bleeding and dressing needs changing same nurse says "so, what do you want me to do, I have other more important things to do."

    At the time we thought she was a shit nurse, and so did others that had the same lady. But now I know that she must have been the best nurse in the place since her bedside manner was so ratshit. You do know that House is a TV show right? And if he was a real dr he would have been struck off.
    Brent

    3rd world solutions for real world problems.

    UoA FSAE 2004-2008

  7. #57
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    Brent,

    ... let us know who so we can track their rise to the top...
    I get PMs from many students asking many questions. Some are indeed climbing the ladder. Others are held back by their Team-mates and Supervisors.

    But what they all have in common is that they have reached a state of desperation where they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel and ask Grumpy-Old-Fart for help. They do so firstly because their teachers are NOT teaching them (Classical Mechanics is so easy, but no school teaches it anymore!!!). And secondly because very little education comes out of DE, or from the DJs (as GTS has said many times, in his opinion "DE is NOT about education").
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    What part of FSAE is not motorsport can you just not grasp?
    Three points worth covering here.

    1. Back on page 5 you put the argument;

    If you dump the design event...
    [then] ... innovation will suffer ...
    [and] ... FSAE will just become another motorsport event.
    My argument is that FSAE is ALREADY JUST LIKE Modern Motorsport.

    Both have self-imposed obstacles to progress, or to "innovation" if you prefer that word. The obstacles in MM are the "spec" Rules, and in FSAE they are DE. Which, amongst other hurdles, demands a Design Report that still asks for nonsensical numbers such as the car's "Front and Rear Ride Frequencies" (<- in there last time I looked). These F&RRFs are 19th century nonsense! Keep up with the times FSAE!

    I then pointed out that whenever there is a TRUE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION, such as the old-time "real racing" I mentioned (with a ), then there is ALWAYS PROGRESS. Note that in FSAE this "competition" is rightly restricted to being against a stopwatch, not "wheel-to-wheel racing". Interestingly, there are still some preserves of MM where there is still steady progress. Most of these compete against a stopwatch (eg. drag-racing and hill-climb).

    I guess I should ask you;
    What part of progress do you NOT like?
    ~o0o~

    2. If you took the "... and you get to drive really fast around a racetrack in little "formula" cars, and do other cool "racing" stuff..." OUT of FS/FSAE competitions, then they would ALL crash-and-burn faster than a CF-wishboned FS-car in Brake-Test.

    The big attraction of FS/FSAE, over "... you build a toy robot that must escape from a maze", is the "Because Racecar" aura that surrounds it (<- it even has a catchy catchphrase!).

    MESS WITH THIS AT YOUR PERIL!

    EG. New student, "Oh..., so you don't ACTUALLY get to drive those little racecars anymore? You say it's now all about "communicating" your ideas to some old geezers? Right.....
    Now how big and scary are we allowed to make those robot maze-escaper thingies...?"

    ~o0o~

    3. The above EG brings up some interesting questions.

    When trying to "improve something" a good tactic is to "extrapolate to extremes". I have extrapolated DE to zero and found that, IMO, it would work very well there.

    What about the other direction?

    Would a competition with DE worth 1000/1000 points be an "improvement"?
    (See above "new student" comment for a hint of my view.)

    If DE is considered somehow beneficial to the whole competition, maybe like some herbs and spices in your stew, then what is the "optimal" amount of it? Just a pinch? A bucket full? Add to taste? Whose taste???
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    I really can't see how having to [verbally] justify and prove design decisions prevents progress.
    Ever tried putting brains into statues? I've been there, tried it. IT DOESN'T WORK!
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    Ok, so if you can communicate you ideas effectively you are therefore a shit engineer?
    Your logical skills are very poor. I suggest googling "Venn diagrams". I will try to explain again in those terms.

    Earlier I said,
    "The idea that good Engineers must NECESSARILY be good communicators is a load of codswallop."

    IMO, the CORE skills required of "good Engineers" are ones that, in FSAE terms, help the students build an objectively "Cheap and Fast car". Namely, skills that help build a car that is very low in real cost, and wins all the Dynamic Events. Pulling words from Rule A1.1, I reckon some of these CORE skills are "an ability to ingeniously ... conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete ... etc.".

    These skills go in the central "good Engineers" area of the Venn diagram.

    Now, there are certainly many other Venn diagram areas covering skills that the students may, or may not, have. For example, there are peripheral areas such as "good communicator", "gives great after-dinner speeches", "has an awesome golf-swing", "can whistle all national anthems while juggling AND riding a uni-cycle", and so on.

    The important point is that these peripheral skills are NOT NECESSARY to being a "good Engineer". These peripheral Venn areas might be entertaining "added bonuses" to have in Young Engineer, but THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY!!! (<- Do I have to stress this even more?)
    ~o0o~

    The really troubling part of DE is that it nowadays suggests that "good communicator" is a SUFFICIENT condition for "good Engineer". <- NONSENSE!!!

    Note that there are precise logical meanings to "necessary" and "sufficient conditions", and they are diffferent. "Necessary" means that YE MUST be a "good communicator" but ALSO MIGHT NEED other skills to qualify as "good Engineer" (and I reckon "gc" is NOT a necessary condition). "Sufficient" is a stronger condition in that it means that YE ONLY needs to be "good communicator" to qualify as a "guaranteed-good Engineer". This, regardless of how crap their car might be!

    If you don't believe that DE is like that, then think about how many times you have heard DJs say "We don't care what sort of car the students bring, just that they can DEFEND THEIR DECISIONS in the Design tent."

    In other words, these DJs consider "good communicator" to be a "sufficient condition" for "good Engineer".
    ~~~~~o0o~~~~~

    ... wife just had an emergency C-section ...
    To be very blunt about this, would you rather that the doctors and nurses were very pleasant and friendly, and offered to give a very nice speech about "The Importance of Good Communication and Bedside Manner" AT THE FUNERAL!?

    The doctor's job is to fix you on the operating table. Your job, post-op, is to GET OUT OF THERE as soon as possible! I hope you realise that the longer you hang around hospitals, the sooner that you are the central player AT THE FUNERAL!

    Coincidentally there was a doco on telly last night about a medical supply company whose artificial hips where falling apart, releasing cobalt, and generally killing their customers. After the product was banned in several countries the company kept selling it as fast as possible in the other countries, but with a policy of "managing perceptions" so as to give a "soft landing".

    Clearly, this is the "good communications first, and bugger the core values" attitude that is spreading throughout our societies, and is now well entrenched in DE.

    You reap what you sow.

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 01-24-2015 at 11:47 PM.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Both have self-imposed obstacles to progress, or to "innovation" if you prefer that word. The obstacles in MM are the "spec" Rules, and in FSAE they are DE. Which, amongst other hurdles, demands a Design Report that still asks for nonsensical numbers such as the car's "Front and Rear Ride Frequencies" (<- in there last time I looked). These F&RRFs are 19th century nonsense! Keep up with the times FSAE!
    Saying the design event is an obstacle to progress is incorrect. If a team designs solely for the design event they are making a grave mistake, it is only one part of the overall event. Just like if they designed a car solely for the acceleration event. If there is any part of FSAE that is an obstacle it is the outdated rules as you touch on with the requirements for ride freqs numbers. For example composites are largely misunderstood and have unfair rules against it, such as the side impact testing rules.

    Getting the design report up to date and relevant will be a good start towards improving the design event.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    What part of progress do you NOT like?
    None, I work with some of the most disruptive technologies and companies in the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Would a competition with DE worth 1000/1000 points be an "improvement"?
    I don't think anyone is suggesting making design 1000 points and you could bet the house it will never be scraped. It is a part of the overall event, which at the moment everyone agrees needs improvement. That is what the point of this discussion is

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Your logical skills are very poor. I suggest googling "Venn diagrams". I will try to explain again in those terms.
    Nope, they are pretty good.

    Here is a Venn diagram as I see it:


    The overall goal of FSAE should be to create better engineers and prepare them for life after FSAE. If they are happy to be just another engineer in the engineering dept then fine but I'm sure most would rather be the lead of that group and to do this you will need to have communication skills along with engineering knowledge.

    When I'm hiring engineers I go for the ones in the middle, but that's just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    To be very blunt about this, would you rather that the doctors and nurses were very pleasant and friendly, and offered to give a very nice speech about "The Importance of Good Communication and Bedside Manner" AT THE FUNERAL!?
    I would rather they were good at their job and part of that is dealing with people. The nurse had a shit bedside manner and was also shit at her job - newborns need feeding and bleeding stitches are a bad thing. The next nurse was nice, helpful, explained what was going on and could do the basics of her job - she was a good nurse. We had a doctor who also explained what was going on and got the baby out alive - he was a good doctor. It is not a case of one or the other, you can have the technical skills and communication skills. And as soon as we could we got out of there.
    Brent

    3rd world solutions for real world problems.

    UoA FSAE 2004-2008

  9. #59
    I think this discussion is far away from any "real" impact on the competition.

    Even if "the old boys club of FSAE forums" would agree to get rid of the DE, this never going to happen.
    Geoff et al. gave the most important aspect: universities will never support the competition without the Design Event / Statics.

    So the discussion has to be: How can we improve the statics of FSAE?

    In my opinion ALL statics have a lot of flaws:
    Business is a big problem: You win with a nice presentation. Content is not really important. Yes, I know the scoring sheet says something different. But judges are flashed by nice presentations. At FSG 2013, Zwickau won with a concept of "Speed Dating". So you meet you partner for life, drive the car and fall in love.. I mean, that's creative yes and the presentation was perfect, so they won those areas. But that's so far away from "real life" and even from "real life FSAE" that I think it does not help anyone.

    Cost is a big problem: You don't win with the cheapest car, you win with a neat report (and to know how to cheat)... At FSG 2014, two of the most expensive FSAE cars of all time (Zurich's and Stuttgart's electric cars) placed 4th and 2nd.
    Problem is, if you give like 200 points for "real cost", the incentive to cheat is incredibly high! The work load for Cost judges is immense. So you cheat like 50 times and get caught 3-4 times -> Great reduction in price and only a few penalty points.
    So yes, Z is right: We need a measure to make sure that the cars are cheap. But the Cost tables and the cost report at the moment are not able to estimate the REAL cost of a car.

    At the moment, at least in Europe, the top teams say "screw it, we will make the fastest car possible, we don't care about Cost". YES, this is against the famous A1.2(?) rule of a cheap weekend racer car. But this design choice gets the most points. So of course everybody is doing it if they plan to compete for Top3.

    And yes, we covered the problems in Design...
    Last edited by JulianH; 01-27-2015 at 02:38 AM.
    -------------------------------------------
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    A bunch of experienced engineers join an online forum to discuss how to improve the FSAE Design Event. The design task is a difficult one, and everyone comes into the forum full of ideas about their own favourite event improvements. For the sake of delivering the event, compromises must be made. It can be a frustrating process – but the participants learn valuable lessons about teamwork, communication, and compromise. Some do it well, some don’t. As long as they are willing to put their differences aside for the better good of the FSAE project, they will be better engineers for working through the process.

    Personally, I like the Design Event. It needs improvement, but we can all learn something from doing it, and we can all learn something by trying to improve it. Just because we haven’t found the right answer yet, doesn’t mean we should just give up on it.

    I see design in itself as the key area in which Australia needs to focus. We are good at it. But we don’t communicate this well to the outside world. Redesigning the design event might just be a good little project for our nation – it will help us find the words to describe and identify what good design is…
    Geoff, I like your attitude. The Design Event needs some fresh thinking.

    The students teams design and build a new car every year. The better teams also apply continuous improvement practices to their design, manufacturing, testing and business processes. Why would the competition organizers not do the same? IMHO, FSAE here in the US got complacent, with an attitude "it's not broke, so don't fix it". There's new leadership now, and that attitude is slowly changing. Like it or not, the competitions have competition. The teams can vote with their feet and their money, attending the competitions that are well run, and shunning those that are not.
    Bob Paasch
    Faculty Advisor
    Global Formula Racing team/Oregon State SAE

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