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Thread: Lightest Car for each concept

  1. #31
    Senior Member
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    Definitely agree with Scott. It's pretty insulting and off-putting to be beaten in the design event by cars that don't complete the competition or, in some cases, don't run at all. Something learnt in my last year was that you shouldn't spend the entire year asking "what will the judges think of this?" because in reality (in Australia anyway) the judging has been very strange indeed. I used up all the alotted time talking to a judge and answering his questions (with plots, facts, figures, practical demonstrations, etc.) and the only real feedback i got was that i made a typo on the design board... Spending the year wondering what some judge is going to think only to have him have absolutely no idea is not cool.

    As for the topic of this thread, we certainly didn't seem to raise any eyebrows with a 188kg turbo intercooled 4 space frame, but the previous year we made finals with a 220kg version. Go figure.
    Jay

    UoW FSAE '07-'09

  2. #32
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    Perth, Western Australia
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    Feedback is definitely a problem with the Design event. Carroll Smith used to give a great review of the finalists and why they ended up where they were. I don't think there were anywhere near as many complaints. Most of us are fairly reasonable, and when it is explained to us clearly why certain teams did well it is easier to accept.

    I am very wary of design judge bashing that appears popular on a lot of threads. As soon as you question the teams that do well in design you are making two assumptions:

    1. The judges made the wrong call

    and

    2. The winning students involved did not deserve it, and are less knowledgable


    I have no problem with the car winning design not being the best or most desirable car at comp. Every team starts from a different point, with different resources, and different goals. Which team did better in design:

    a) A large legacy team that built a $300k car that wins the comp easily, hence meeting their goals

    or

    b) A small second year team that built a $10k car that placed 4th, hence meeting their goals

    The only real way to have the design event separate from the overall competition is to make sure there is a large student knowledge/decision making part of the event.

    In general I do have a problem with non-reliable cars winning design. It was an unwritten rule in the US that the car winning design had to finish endurance. There may be extreme cases where this may not happen, but I would look pretty hard on a team who deliberately sacrificed reliability for minimal performance gains.

    A winning team should have a good handle on the compromises and short-comings of their car. Monash do this very well and I can understand their dissappointment from the last Aus comp. I was surprised at the points difference between the design finalists at Australia. The steps each finalist had made from the previous year were significant, the knowledge level appeared high. In this case I would have expected the points to be closer.

    I wish I had easy access to the past results because I think the best way to judge the judges is to see if they are predicting performance. Any time you ahve a great lot of students come through their impact may not be fully felt for a while. The groundwork laid in a great year often pays off in following years. If the design judging is going well a team that wins design should increase (or maintain) competitiveness in the next couple of years.


    Geoff, if you're reading this put clearer design feedback on your list of things to make the Aus comp better. A good spoken (and recorded) design review at comp would add a lot for the students.

    Kev

  3. #33
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    Wow, us Aussies have well and truly hijacked this thread. It would seem the design event is a sore topic around here?

    For those that have traveled the event varies a lot from place to place, and also year to year. I would be interested to hear what the Euro teams that do 4 or 5 events a year have to say about design event consistency with the same team and car?

    I have done a few design events, and after being seriously cut by some results, I somewhat cynically resolved to treat it just like all the other events. Do your best, and accept the outcome is out of your control, and a bit random.

    I don't think you can/should try to design a car to please all of the judges all of the time, but at UWA we do spend a lot of time considering how ideas will presented and if the detail matches the broad concept. They don't have to like our car, but it would be nice if we can show them why we do.

    I would like to see more feedback, and also more interaction with judges outside of the event. I think most of us would very much like some feedback and appreciation (or otherwise) on the years blood, sweat and tears regardless of the competition and the points. I for one was a little sad not to show off our 2011 car, of which I'm very proud of the design, to people like Ron Tauranac and Pat Clarke, simply because the car never made finals anywhere.

    On the topic of Light Weight, I remain cut over the FSG award for "light weight CONCEPT". Forget the design event, even with the terms narrowed down to simply Vehicle weight you still can't figure it out! We had driver cell safety and mechanical durability by a massive amount over any of the other finalists near us, and were not that much heavier (than the other 4 cylinders). All the other finalists were either slow (toe stiffness???), broke, or both. You guessed it, the prize went to the lightest car, that had never done 22Km without failure, including at that event! I don't want to be rude to what is a was very good and fast car from Delft, but I really believe your machine has to meet the basic function requirements before it can be assessed fairly in other areas, and here that means going quickly for 22Km. (the failure was "lightweight design" related, not just unlucky).
    Now if it was just called "lightest car award" it would of saved a lot of effort and confusion.

    Pete

  4. #34
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    No prob Kev, point taken and has been put to the consortium already. And of course I am reading this thread...

    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  5. #35
    Pete,
    don't mix up an extra award with the design event. They were/are orthogonal at FSG and do usually not share judges.

    Although I agree that design winners should be reliable in general, I would not say that a design winner has to finish endurance. There is still such a thing as hard luck. All of us have probably experienced parts failing which were bought and/or designed to live forever and still failed.

    Pat and the other two chief design judges hold a design review after the FSG endurance.
    At least two of them are available on YouTube, if you are interested.
    FSG2008 Design Review

    FSG2011 Design Review
    The latter is more like a general lecture in car design, but the 2008 version is quite specific.

    I know this may not really help, if you have not attended that event with your car, but I think it shows how it could be done.

    Regarding Kev's comment:
    I wish I had easy access to the past results because I think the best way to judge the judges is to see if they are predicting performance. Any time you ahve a great lot of students come through their impact may not be fully felt for a while. The groundwork laid in a great year often pays off in following years. If the design judging is going well a team that wins design should increase (or maintain) competitiveness in the next couple of years.
    I do not think that this is possible. It should match to a certain level, let's say predicting in which third they will end up, if they complete the respective dynamic event. But that's it.
    Having been a design judge, I can tell you that this job is harder than you expect telling from the other side.

    Anyway, I have the whole world ranking database at my fingertips. So tell me, what kind of evaluation you think would be good and I will see what I can do.
    Perhaps, percentage of maximum points in design vs. overall dynamic points percentage or similar?
    Regards,

    Tobias

    Formula Student Germany
    FSE Rules & Organisation
    http://twitter.com/TobiasMic
    http://TobiasMic.Blogspot.com

    Not many people know the difference between resolution and accuracy.

  6. #36
    I'm wondering what portion of design judges have significant experience with the competition? I imagine this having a big influence on how they decide on their judging criteria.

  7. #37
    We learnt the hard way this year at FSG that the design event is about knowledge, not the car when we scored 0 for a suspension system that the judge admitted was one of the best there, but it just so happened that our entire suspension department had gone straight into work before the event.

    While other team members could easily answer questions about the construction of the system, the lack of knowledge of finer details of the geometry and kinematics resulted in no points for the entire section. Extremely harsh, but their decision is final.

    The one thing that I do find issue with is the number of design judges with little knowledge of motorsports, often from general automotive companies. They're often looking for automotive solutions instead of motorsport. The main example for us is in the cockpit, where judges will often complain that we use seat inserts moulded to the driver instead of adjustable pedals & steering column. One of these solutions takes 10 seconds to change, the other takes much longer and can add compliance into the system.

  8. #38
    While other team members could easily answer questions about the construction of the system, the lack of knowledge of finer details of the geometry and kinematics resulted in no points for the entire section. Extremely harsh, but their decision is final.
    The problem is that they are in that case not able to decide if you just copied a previous year design or if a professional engineer did all the design work or if it was just bad knowledge preservation management.
    I think also that this is harsh, but I see no other way of reacting to it from a design judge's point of view.

    Fantomas
    Scores under pressure

  9. #39
    Originally posted by Pete Marsh:

    For those that have traveled the event varies a lot from place to place, and also year to year. I would be interested to hear what the Euro teams that do 4 or 5 events a year have to say about design event consistency with the same team and car?
    Sometimes it's very disturbing to compare Silverstone and Hockenheim.

    There is a saying: "UK judges focus on manufacturing, German judges on awesome design features".

    I don't know if it's true but look at GFR 2011:

    - Michigan (ok without wings): 1st
    - Cali: 2nd
    - Germany: 1st
    - UK: I don't know.. 15th or something like that

    In Germany the Top 3 in Design matched exaclty the Top 3 overall. Maybe not that bad (if you judge only the car, not the knowledge).

    I guess in UK they are more looking at simple cars (in the feedback 2011 the put Bath as a good, TU Graz more or less as a bad example for a "too sophisticated" car).

    Bath on the other way round placed only 15th in Germany...

    Zurich did pretty bad in UK too, won Germany, won Spain and placed second in Austria.

    I don't know but I guess GFR and Zurich went with the same team members at least the "important" ones.


    It's hard to tell if it's "fair"..

  10. #40
    There is a saying: "UK judges focus on manufacturing, German judges on awesome design features".
    Since we share quite some design judges, this cannot be true. It depends more on how the head of design runs the event and briefs the judges.

    Additionally TU Graz for example won design in the UK in 2006 and 2007.

    Just use the "Achievements" view at the FS World Ranking List to find out such things.
    For GFR it shows this for example:
    GFR Achievements
    Regards,

    Tobias

    Formula Student Germany
    FSE Rules & Organisation
    http://twitter.com/TobiasMic
    http://TobiasMic.Blogspot.com

    Not many people know the difference between resolution and accuracy.

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