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Thread: Some news from SAE Oz

  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    I wasn't going to start a new thread for this - but it will get lost elsewhere. Please excuse the self-indulgence. Anyway we can use this thread for a bit of planning.

    As some of you may know, last year I became the Exec Director of SAE Australasia. This has been quite a dream job in one sense, as I finally get an income from the time I spend on FSAE. The condition is of course, that before the fun FSAE stuff, Iíve got to attend to a few other little things like preparing financial predictions and reports, attending board meetings, planning and running events, dealing with insurance and tax and OH&S and complaints and standards and book sales and staffing issues and rental premises and Ö umm Ö there was something else but of course the big question is why I havenít made FSAE perfect yet.

    Anyway, I just wanted to announce that I will soon be standing down from my role as ED, quite a bit sooner than I thought I would be. Iím afraid it is for health reasons, as I have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease and it has progressed to the point where it is affecting my work performance. It affects people in different ways, and in my case I am beginning to have real trouble with fine motor skills stuff like typing and doing up buttons, and also with some full-body co-ordination activities like synchronized swimming and break-dancingÖ

    OK, so Iím taking the ssip out of myself a bit here, but the PD thing is for real. It also might explain why I havenít been on these boards much of late, as my ability to type comes in spurts.

    Anyway, Iím not here to feel sorry for myself, nor to make anyone out there feel sorry for me either. Down to business.

    Firstly, my sincere apologies to those of you who have been inconvenienced as my capabilities have dropped off. There are a few of you who have sent emails that I havenít responded to yet, or took ages to do so (Mad Tonks, Matty Chapman, Z, to name a few). Also to the USyd guys whose 2012 fuel economy issue was pretty well resolved in March or April or something, but it just needed a few things for me to finalize but I never managed to do so. I promise I will get around to this soon, but Iíve got to get a Board meeting and a newsletter and a journal out of the way first.

    So, where to from here. Most of you are on these boards because you love FSAE. That is the reason Iím here too. Best educational program on the planet. Iíve hung around because I continue to learn from it, and because I continue to be impressed by the professionalism and skill and outright maturity of you lot Ė the competitors. And because it is fun too.

    Now, FSAE here in Oz is run by a skeleton staff here at National Office. We are helped immensely by a dedicated band of volunteers from industry and also a few students from our participating unis. FSAE is a great program, is doing well and should continue on for many years to come. But it is linked to the ongoing viability of the SAE Australasian branch itself, and with the automotive manufacturing industry here struggling, we need to remain alert and on guard.

    Now there are some very dedicated people both within our circle of friends here on these Boards (Iím thinking of Scott and Kev and Jon and Mad, to name a few), and of course the lead industry people (Rob Chadwick, Adrian Feeney, Mark Morarty, plus many more), who put in great effort at quite often their own expense to run FSAE and to expand its influence. The more people who help out, the more we can do and the better it is for all of us.

    Now I do not know who will replace me. I want to stay around and represent you lot, but the final decision is not mine. It is in your best interests to pull together to make the most of your SAE experience.

    Firstly, pay up your membership. The student membership fee of $55 is cheap, for the amount of time and energy that goes into serving in has student members. If you got members on your team who have not paid up, gives them a rev. They are cheating all of us.

    Secondly, get involved. We have taken on volunteers at the National office, they have done a brilliant job and have come a long way towards securing an engineering career through the contacts they have made in the process. We have a number of big jobs ahead of us, including all of the preparation for this year's event. Come along and join in the fun. All we ask is that you are reliable, able to work under your own initiative, and able to commit at least one day a week. We'll supply the jobs - PM me for details.

    Alternatively, form your own volunteer group. For examples, the teams in Queensland have done a brilliant job in recent years building their own SAE community work group. They have taken it on their own initiative to to meet up with noncompeting universities to try to help them back into the competition. They are also putting on their own social events, holding their own design schools, and even leading the charge in resurrecting SAE is Queensland committee. If you've got big ideas about how to make this society better, and you are willing to actually put in the energy to do it, then why not go the whole hog and nominate a position on State committee. Its up to you what to do, so just jump in and make stuff happen.

    There is a lot of stuff that I wanted to implement in my time at SAE. Unfortunately I will not get the opportunity now to do it, but I am sincerely hoping that I have set a bit of an example that you don't need to be a 30 year industry veteran to have your say where the society is going.

    I've got a bit more to add to this, but it will have to wait until later because it is time to go to bed.

    Cheers all,

    Geoff
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  2. #2
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    Geoff,

    Thanks for all the work you've put in (and I'm sure will continue to put into the community officially or not). Your "reasoning your way through..." thread is the first thing I send students to. Best of luck finding a successor, and I hope he or she will continue to amazing work all you Aussies are doing down there.
    "Man, I need to practice more!" - Kenny Wallace
    "Try not to have a good time... this is supposed to be educational." - Charles M Schulz
    -OptimumG 2005-2006
    -Turner Motorsports 2008-2009
    -Black Swan Racing 2010 & 2011 Team and Driver's Champions
    -HPD Race Engineer 2011-2014
    -Currently Freelance Data/Race Engineer

  3. #3
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    Geoff, you have always been a busy body so I can't blame you for slow or lack of replies! I too was pretty busy earlier this year and couldn't quite get a FSAE-South up and running down here in Adelaide (but I have plans for that, just watch this space).

    I didn't submit an application to the state committee due to plans to jet off on an exchange to Sweden start of next year (Lund/KTH guys, I am going to be hitting one of you up when I find out which university I have hopefully been accepted in to. Be ready). Trust me though, when I return from gallivanting around the North, you'll be seeing me on the committee.

    In the mean time, if the society needs any help, I am always contactable. Thankyou for your year of service to FSAE-A. You have begun to bring about a change that I think a lot of universities in Australia have been waiting for and will benefit from.

    When you can, think you might be able to note down as many of the things you wished to implement in to SAE?
    Madeleine Tonkin
    The University of Adelaide Motorsport Team (2011, 2012, 2013)
    Lund University Racing (2014)

  4. #4
    Goeff,
    Thanks for your contributions to FSAE, which I'm sure will continue. Your "reasoning your way through..." is an excellent outline of the design process; it is not limited to design of an FSAE car. It is the second thing that I require students to read, after the rules. You first earned my respect for the way you and your RMIT team handled themselves when our teams competed in Michigan & California in 2006. Your insightful comments on this forum have since earned my respect for your intellect.

    Make McDermott
    Faculty Advisor, Texas A&M FSAE

  5. #5
    Geoff,

    Just seconding the previous posts really - Thanks for all the effort you've put in over the years. I was reading your, extremely informative - posts when I started and I'm still reading and learning now.

    Thanks for all the fish!

    Ed
    University of Glasgow BEng 2003-2007
    Oxford Brookes MSc 2007-2008
    University of Glasgow PhD 2009 - god knows when.....
    WORK ....
    --------------------------------------------
    Preliminary operational tests proved inconclusive.... It blew up when we flipped the switch

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Geoff,

    Like everyone here I was extremely sad to learn of your condition.

    Your work at RMIT, Monash and more recently SAE-A has helped strengthen the local competition, and your ideas have had an lasting worldwide impact on this competition.

    Few here will remember the days when the idea of a fast or successful single cylinder FSAE car was viewed as a ridiculous proposition. Your 2003 and later RMIT cars led to a paradigm shift in our understanding of this competition and the different ways in which these cars could go fast.

    Your initial point simulation tool also developed in that time, served as a critical starting point for the Monash team and others to start taking undertaking a very critical and scientific analysis of the different requirements of this competition, allowing us to more accurately balance out the many and complex competing interests at play. Of course these tools have evolved significantly in the last 10 years, but I think the influence can be traced back to your original work. These tools have resulted in the convergence of successful FSAE vehicle concepts that we are currently witnessing, something that has taken more than 20 years to happen.

    The "Reasoning your way" thread that you started and have contributed a huge amount of thought and writing too is also a seminal contribution to the knowledge base of FSAE. The ideas and examples contained in it have struck a chord with many teams. I know that at Monash it changed the whole way in which we approached this competition, what we wanted to get out of it and how we judged our success and failures. That thread greatly broadened our perspective and changed the way we valued different work on team, in that FSAE is much more about management than it is about engineering. We had never considered Level 3 or Level 4 strategies or systematic management before reading it. Now it it the focus of everything we do, and Levels 2 and 1 flow easily from that, rather than the reverse. To this day continues it to provide teams with a viable step-by-step path to both competition success and long term team well being. Its contribution to the the current good health of our competition world wide cannot be over estimated.

    Scott

    PS: As far as I can tell, the only thing Geoff didn't think of was Aero. Thanks for leaving the rest of us something!
    Regards,

    Scott Wordley


    Scoring in every event for the last 12 comps running!
    http://www.monashmotorsport.com/

  7. #7
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    I did think of it Scott. I thought it was a waste of time
    But then again, a year of trying to convince you of this was as futile as your efforts to talk me out of singles and 10 inch wheels...
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for the kind words, they are sincerely appreciated.

    Justin, thank you and I am sure with some extra time I can find some more things to add to the "reasoning..." thesis. It will help your students get a good nights sleep...

    Mad, thanks for your understanding and for the huge effort you have put in. Enjoy OS!

    Make, competing with your guys was the highlight of my FSAE career. We really appreciated the warm welcome extended to us all, and the hard-fought but fair and respectful competition that followed. If you ever hear from your old students (Horace, Maurizio and Wade come to mind - if I remember names correctly) please send my regards. And should I return to the US some day, the first place I am flying to is Texas.

    Cheers Ed, thanks for the support all along - and it is comforting to see someone else taking as long as I did to get out of the uni system.

    Finally, Scott - thank you sincerely for some very flattering words. I think though that you have overlooked your own contribution whilst inflating mine. I find it sort of funny and more than a little ironic though that despite what you say, I won't be allowed to teach in the university system until I attain a PhD...
    Which of course I have no interest in doing

    Thanks again to all for your support

    Geoff
    Geoff Pearson

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

    Design it. Build it. Break it.

  9. #9
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    Geoff,

    I will add my thanks for everything you have given to the community. The last couple of years at Oz have been very tough, but with a lot of hard work from many volunteers and good leadership from yourself the last couple of comps have been very enjoyable. Hopefully you will still be at the Oz comp and with less on your plate you can return to commentary. If needs be we could get a small team of students to type your comments into a text to speech translator.

    You are always welcome in WA if you start up a career as an inspirational speaker, or if you just want to have a holiday.

    Your contribution to the community will be heavily missed, and you set a very high bar for the next ED of SAE-A.

    Kev

  10. #10
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    I can also just second all the other posts. It is very sad to hear, you won't be able to help this competition the way you did during the last ten years.

    I still hope, I'll make it to down under in the near future. If so you'll receive a message
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

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