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Thread: Teams from India

  1. #591
    Hi,I would like to know if you had the chance to experiment with nickel bronze welding?

  2. #592

    FSI 2016 digest

    I attended Formula Student India at the Buddh circuit on January 25-28 as a design judge. Here are a few facts and comments.

    In short the organization was not good but there is a significant improvement in performance and reliability of the few top Formula Student India cars. The average car design and manufacturing level is still pretty low, the engineering knowledge is still pretty low too but there is some hope.

    In general the organization was worse than 2015 and 2015 had already a lot to be desired. There were a lot of volunteers with passion and aspiration to help but there wasn’t any or no good guidance, little or no training, a lot of improvisation, lack of check list, lack of clear definition of each volunteer job, lack of communication and simply lack of leadership. The schedule was….on Indian time (which means that most of the static and dynamic events, bus departure from the hotel or from the circuit, etc.. started late)

    The organizer probably had their eyes bigger their stomach as they organized the Baja and the Formula Student event one right after the other. That was a huge mistake. Several international judges like Steve Fox and Pat Clarke and I advised the organizers to avoid this but we were not heard. The Baja track was 3. 5 kilometers from the Buddh circuit (the cars had to be transported or ran on the public road – some car did not even make it to or from the circuit - in a chaotic convoy) so if the goal was to create a common Baja / FS atmosphere that’s did not work well.

    Most volunteers and organizers were already pretty tired from working on the Baja event before FSI even started.

    Formula Student Germany has acquired a good reputation not only because of its very good organization, but also because of its atmosphere. The configuration of their paddock is an example. All of the events are close to each other—registration, event control, design, cost and business judging, VIP lodge, technical inspection, test track, acceleration, skid pad, sprint and endurance track as well as award ceremony—everything is within 400 meters. That brings a sense of community. What provides long term success of a competition for students, judges, sponsors, etc. in a competition is memory and emotions. Emotions are even greater when they are experienced and shared in a community. Having all the participants within close proximity to each other and of the track is very important for the awareness of the belonging to a community.

    The Buddh circuit was not that at all. Way too big, too impersonal. Quite cold (5 deg. C and lot of fog in the morning, 15 deg. C in the afternoon) not the right place, not the right time of the year.

    Airport pick up was inexistent. That is fine, I am a big boy, I can organize my own transportation, I do that half of the year. But I was promised to be picked up and nobody showed up. That did not start well.

    The judges spent 2 ˝ hour every day for the hotel – circuit round trip. Consequently we arrived at the hotel after diner time so most of our meals happened at Mc Donald or from snack at the fuel station. The “continental” food (to avoid the Delhi Belly) served at lunch at the circuit at a food truck was quite good I have to say.

    Most of the Indian design and cost judges did not stay after the design and cost event (2 days of design judging, I still do not understand why) to give feedback. Not the best way to help Indian students.

    Despite several unheard requests that is only the day of the design event that judges knew which car they were going to judge.

    I was very happy with the design judges I worked with. All of them were either experienced professional engineers and/or former FS participants.

    I made a suggestion 2 years ago to create a detailed submission system with pictures (3 months before the competition) and videos (2 months before the competition) that would ease the technical inspection and avoid getting cars of teams who really did not care. The submission system that the FSI guys created is excellent: simply the best one I ever have seen in any Formula student competition. For example teams have to show details of the car with templates. Judges can warm team ahead of time to fix things before the technical inspection. Unfortunately at the last minute for a reason I still do not comprehend, the organizers decided to allow teams that didn’t even submit any documents to show up (and guess what these cars were pretty bad – as if these students did not care or had any ideas of the minimum that was expected from them). Very disappointing. I gave a lot of time and I tried with several other judges for years to help the organizers to elevate the FS Indian cars car design and manufacturing level and the whole process suddenly became a blessing of mediocrity.

    Technical inspection was chaotic. The main reason was probably lack of training. Volunteers did not have clear definition of expectations.

    With the help of Matt Schroeder, an OptimumG intern, I designed the track. I purposely made it slow because Indian cars have not high reliability record and I did not want to see any of these cars in losing a wheel or two in a 100 km/h corner. We had the change the track a bit on my arrival (the volunteers did a fantastic job) because you can’t see pot holes and big bumps on satellite pictures. I purposely designed a few corners with the minimum 4.5 m outside radius as there is one at Formula Student Italy (FS is not racing but I can’t help to tell a quick story: a few years ago Level 5 team of LMP Lola cars packed after the first Long Beach practice because they did not have enough steering angle for the hairpin. I did not want FSI cars to get in the same trouble; they were warned that such corner will be part of the circuit; they had the track drawing in advance) Many drivers told me that enjoyed the track. Some of them - with incredibly high steering torque - must have kept their arms in iced water the next days after the competition. The track was too far away from the public viewing area. No lap time display, no live comments, little atmosphere. The students of the teams that participated to the endurance were very excited and showed a lot of enthusiasm with their screaming encouragements. Life comments would have multiplied by 10 this enjoyment and memory. That is the minimum you owe to a sponsor.

    Some of the cars were good and well driven and some teams show good engineering knowledge. It would be a B car in any other completion. Nothing to be ashamed of. Most of the cars are still 50 to 80 kg too heavy, though.

    One car did not pass technical inspection because the roll hoop was made of tube of 24.5 mm (or 25.0, I do not remember) instead of 25.4 mm. The team disassembled the car, manufactured a new roll hoop, re-welded everything… in one night and passed the technical inspection the next day. A real prowess. An amazing example of team work not only for Indian teams but for any FS team in the world
    1
    The award ceremony was lacking a bit of luster and organization (but was still more enjoyable that the US one!)

    Some FSI facts by the numbers

    - 47 out of 50 registered teams showed up.
    - 12 cars passed Technical inspection (1 sticker)
    - 9 teams were eligible to run dynamics (all stickers)
    - Only 2 cars did acceleration
    - 7 cars went on Skidpad
    - 5 cars went on autocross all completed
    - 9 cars started endurance; 6 finished (not great but way better than last year)
    - 1020 cones were hit by all cars.
    - 256 vones by just one of them! World record I guess.
    - There were about 1400 participants

    Quick conclusions:
    - Organization went from C- to F. Time to rethink the management. Not interested to be a volunteer again in these conditions. I could have made a better use of my time that week in a GT test on an Asian test track for a team my company consult for. I want to volunteer but I also want to feel I can make a difference. For that a minimum event organization competence is required
    - Top 5 cars went from C to B. There is hope; these teams will do more than decent in any other international competitions. The knowledge, the team work, the manufacturing quality, the speed and the reliability are there. Real improvement. Very respectful effort when you know how little support there is in India for this kind of endeavors. These teams are showing the way. They learned a lot for their engineering career. Still a long way to go but all the reasons to be optimistic. Can’t wait to see them again in Europe.
    - Middle still C- and the last 1/3 I prefer to not comment.
    Claude Rouelle
    OptimumG president
    Vehicle Dynamics & Race Car Engineering
    Training / Consulting / Simulation Software
    FS & FSAE design judge USA / Canada / UK / Germany / Spain / Italy / China / Brazil / Australia
    [url]www.optimumg.com[/u

  3. #593
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    152
    To support what Claude had to say, FSI was not a particularly enjoyable event for me either.

    I have to say that the never ending pea-soup fog over the 10 days I was there made for a very unhealthy situation.
    The smog meant the air quality was 30 times worse than the WHO limits, and several of the visitors were sick. I had to visit the hospital with an ear infection.
    Walking to our hotel from McDonalds (Ever tried a 'Big Maharajah burger with fries and a Coke'?) one night, I could hardly breathe! It was that bad.

    90 minutes each way in Delhi traffic in a noisy (93db) smelly bus wasted all that time when we could have been advising students. Plans for 'mini seminars'
    each day had to be scrapped.

    The Buddh circuit will never see another Grand Prix, after only a few years, the place is starting to fall to pieces as a result of shoddy workmanship and materials used
    and I will not mention the state of the toilets etc.
    Bernie would have a fit if he could see it now.

    Security at the circuit was intrusive but laughable. On arrival at the circuit, one could not gain admission without credentials ....
    But the credentials office was a one kilometer walk away!

    Once inside, one had to walk through a metal detector, like at an airport... But nobody monitored it, so the pings and beeps caused by cameras and phones could
    just as easily been caused by an Uzi or hand grenade.

    Speaking of cameras, my $500 Sony went 'walkabout' during the event :-(

    The Indian students showed their usual huge enthusiasm. I did not see any dynamic events as I was busy giving feedback in the pits.

    One thing that is becoming clear to me is the event is off the rails for the following reason...

    Despite FS being a competition for University teams, very few Universities have any interest. Those that do support it and who supply a Faculty Advisor are
    invariably at the top.

    Most teams are a selection of students who get together to build a 'Formula One Racecar' in their spare time, with no Uni input.

    This has resulted in a little cottage industry setting up in India where a team can buy hubs, uprights, differential assy, axles,
    steering assembly and even the steering wheel and even the seat.

    This stuff is then assembled into some semblance of a car (we called them 'kitcars' and could identify them from 50 feet)and taken to the competition
    by an enthusiastic group of smiling students who do not realise they have not learned very much.
    Many of the cars were recycled or 'cut and shut' from earlier cars. One I saw had its genesis in 2013.

    So, as a viable competition, this cannot go on. Without support for the event from the Universities, the event will remain mired in mediocrity.
    The event management, with the best of good intentions, is chaotic and I find it difficult to see that improving any time soon.

    The event needs to be relocated to a site more central and where the event is not spread over an unmanagable large area. Buddh was not only unsuitable,
    it was hugely expensive. I guess the organisers felt there would be some cachet in running at a GP circuit like FSUK or FS Germany. In truth, the event was
    run on poorly surfaced service roads where the surface was breaking up.

    Running the event in parallel with the Baja event was madness for all the reasons Claude mentioned. It detracted from both events!

    Like Claude, I am seriously considering my future at FSI. Perhaps there are better ways to spend my time.

    Pat
    Last edited by Pat Clarke; 02-16-2016 at 11:36 PM.
    The trick is... There is no trick

  4. #594
    The Indian event and the alumni-backed organisation that conducts it are still in their early days. But, because this was our second attempt, the evaluation standards are rightly higher. I agree with all the points made by Claude and Pat and admit at some level we need to re-think how we conduct our operations. I have been in FSAE for over a decade now and think that before we expect professionalism from the students who submit our work to us , we ourselves need to show exemplary conduct that goes above and beyond of "what is expected from us" .

    That said, things in India, as I have realized myself, happen in their own obtuse way. Like most fellow Indians, I find this non-linearity frustrating as well and often shift between accepting and resenting this "organised chaos". The overall standing of Indian teams has become worse than it was a 7-8 years back and development is stagnated, but its mildly heartening to see Claude see at least some improvement in the cars.

    Coming to the event and its organisation, the Buddh Circuit in midwinter is not the best time to conduct an FSAE style event. Though we had good sunlight during the FSI dynamics, the weather as Pat and Claude pointed out was not even remotely ideal for an outdoors event. We were sorely under-prepared for the weather. Additionally , the crumbling infrastructure at Buddh , which is not a priority asset for the over- leveraged Jaypee Group, did nothing to help the organisation of the event. The move to Budhh was driven by ambition, primarily because FSG and FS UK are held a major F1 circuits, but we had not planned adequately to justify the move. Talking about security at the event, I was held up a few times at the gates, asked to leave the grandstand area because more important people were coming and had to depend on my "Madipur- Nangloi Jat" upbringing to counter unnecessarily aggressive security personnel. Hotheads don't contribute to any calm disposition required to manage an event (though I was not managing much, rather anything).

    Further, as Claude and Pat pointed out, hospitality and logistics was a major issue. Pat had very serious health concerns due to the Fog and it was personally depressing to see that we had invited him to such a situation. This is the second year where he was not adequately cared for. That said, FSI is the only event that pays all the expenses of its Judges and Alumni Volunteers . While I have not conducted a forensic audit, I am given to believe that these hospitality and logistics expenditures constitute a significant portion of the budget. While the presence of international judges and tech inspectors is essential, Expense Prioritization is being seriously worked on and I guess the alumni will have to ask themselves - How many of us will be committed to the "cause" if our expenses were not paid ?. Just an internal reality check.

    Going forward, the feedback received from Claude, Pat, Steve, Prof. Jones and others is being worked upon. Most of us agree that if the event has to be made better then we need a balance between management consistency and organisational restructuring. Jargons apart, we cannot afford to have another event that falls anywhere below exceptional. I am not an official spokesperson for the Organisation , but on my part can assure that the feedback given by all is being actively worked up on. More as things develop.

    Siddharth Mandal
    ______________________________________________
    FS India 2015 B-Plan Captain, 2016 B-Plan Judge
    OC Member, Delta Inc., FSI-BSI.
    Ashwa Racing Teams (2006-2009)
    Chair, Alumni Steering Committee (2009- Present)

  5. #595
    Hello guys.

    I'm Varun from Ashwa Racing, R V College of Engineering. Since our combustion prototype is yet to reach Bengaluru from Italy, we are in need of a UTC and CAN connector for Motec M800 (any 100 series is compatible). It would be great if you could lend us the same for a week. We promise to pick it up and return it on time.

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