Monday, October 10, 2016

UiTM student team walks away with RM35,000 at the inaugural Formula SAE ASEAN - Taylor's Uni students a close second!


Today I attended the Prize giving ceremony of the inaugural Formula SAE ASEAN at the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) in Cyberjaya. Seven (7) teams from six (6) universities competed at the multi-stage design competition. This year's competition comprised of teams from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Taylor's University, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Inti International University and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). From there, the team from UiTM (car no 88) was the overall winner, with a close second by the team from Taylor's University (No 28). 



Formula SAE (FSAE) is an engineering design competition for students at the tertiary level. The event is organised by MAI together with SAE Malaysia. It isn't actually about motorsport as there is no head to head or car to car racing involved (only against the clock and other tests at a karting circuit). It is about learning how to build a car with a given budget under set rules after which the cars are tested on a circuit. 

The cars developed and manufactured by the students were impressive to say the least. It had taken them many months to come up with a car from the base specifications given. The final leg of FSAE ASEAN, held between 5th and 9th October 2016 was the final test of the knowledge and skills of the participating students and their cars. In order to emerge as the best team in the competition, teams must adhere to a multitude of strict vehicle technical and safety requirements, inspected at the different stages of the competition. There are two phases in the competition - the Static Event part and the Dynamic testing part.

Judging criteria is based generally on students' abilities and vehicle performance. In the Static Event part, the students are judged on cost report scoring, design report scoring and business presentation. The cost report is important. Costing is a very important factor - every nut and bolt is determined to have a fixed cost - So even a USD1million 'donation' would be factored in. An example would be if a team with a lesser budget was able to construct a better car utilising less money than the team with the million Dollar donation will garner more points. So it isn't about the money but efficient utilisation of funds too. All of  this makes up the Static Event portion of the competition where the teams were given points and eventually prizes - best presentation, etc). 

The evaluation of the performance of vehicles make up the Dynamic Event where to be able to compete in the scoring stage, the cars must pass strict inspections by experts; in a controlled environment designed to ensure safety of teams, stewards and visitors, while proving engineering concepts in meeting the rules and requirements set in the competition. The vehicles go through several inspection stations - Scrutineering, Tilt Table Test (above), and Brake & Noise Test. Upon passing these inspections, the cars are allowed on the track to be tested at the scoring stages - Skid Pad, Acceleration, Autocross, Endurance and Fuel Efficiency.

The Students taking part in FSAE stand to gain extensive experience from the process of developing vehicle prototypes that must conform to strict standards. Throughout the development process, participants gain insights on best engineering practices, product design, vehicle safety, testing & validation, manufacturing, as well as business elements of marketing and costing. This is about developing human capital in Malaysia. These students are the next generation of people that will populate the Malaysian automotive industry. This is something that is also outlined in the National Automotive Plan according to MAI.

The winning team this year will get a chance to head to Melbourne, Australia and compete with in the Formula SAE Australia. There, they will most probably be an eye opener to the students. According to the chaps that run SAE Malaysia, the level of competition over there is on another level - there are teams there which design and build their own engines. Imagine university students building their own powerplant for their own car. Bloody amazing!

Next year, MAI intends to get more local participation from local universities and also participation from across ASEAN. Their target is 20 local teams going up against 10 ASEAN teams. Then over at the Q&A part of the event it was asked (by Yours Truly actually) whether future events would eventually include Electric powered vehicles. According to MAI Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Madani Sahari (photo above - right, together with SAEM Chairman, Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim, left), it is very possible especially with the fact that MAI is pushing for Malaysia to be the ASEAN hub for EEV which would include hybrids and electric vehicles. Maybe we shall see our students design and build hybrids and electric vehicles for Formula SAE three to four years down the road.

Anyway, congratulations to the teams. You guys are the future.









PRESS RELEASE

10th October 2016

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AT INAUGURAL FORMULA SAE ASEAN
The Taylor's Uni car no 28 and the winning car 88 of UiTM

10 October 2016 - The inaugural Formula SAE ASEAN concluded yesterday at the Speedway

Plus Circuit, USJ with a team from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) emerging a the Best

Overall Team.

Formula SAE (FSAE) is an engineering design competition for students at the tertiary level.

The competition is held regularly in more than 10 countries around the world. FSAE ASEAN is

a collaboration between Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and SAE Malaysia (SAEM), and

are the first movers in bringing this prestigious competition to the ASEAN region.

The final leg of FSAE ASEAN, held between 5th and 9th October 2016 was the pinnacle of an

intense competition that tests the knowledge and skills of engineering students in automotive

technology. In order to emerge as the best team in the competition, teams must adhere to a

multitude of strict vehicle technical and safety requirements, inspected at the different stages

of the competition.

Judging criteria is based generally on students' abilities and vehicle performance. The

students are judged on cost report scoring, design report scoring and business presentation,

making up the Static Event portion of the competition.

The evaluation of the performance of vehicles make up the Dynamic Event. To be able to

compete in the scoring stage, the cars must pass strict inspections by experts; in a controlled

environment designed to ensure safety of teams, stewards and visitors, while proving

engineering concepts in meeting the rules and requirements set in the competition.

The vehicles go through several inspection stations - Scrutineering, Tilt Table Test, and Brake

& Noise Test. Upon passing these inspections, the cars are allowed on the track to be tested

at the scoring stages - Skid Pad, Acceleration, Autocross, Endurance and Fuel Efficiency.

Students taking part in FSAE stand to gain extensive experience from the process of

developing vehicle prototypes that must conform to strict standards. Throughout the

development process, participants gain insights on best engineering practices, product

design, vehicle safety, testing & validation, manufacturing, as well as business elements of

marketing and costing.

"FSAE bridges the gap between the theoretical knowledge gained in class with real world

conditions, pushing them beyond technical factors, and dealing with human and

environmental conditions that can affect the progress of their projects", said SAEM Chairman,

Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim.

MAI Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Madani Sahari explained that FSAE ASEAN is an important

step in enhancing competitiveness of local engineering talent, especially from a young age.

"The future of vehicle manufacturing requires human capital that can cope with the ever

increasing complexity of automotive products and processes. The National Automotive Policy

2014 (NAP 2014) aims to create more than 30,000 high value jobs in design, engineering and

validation by the year 2020. FSAE ASEAN is an important step to accelerate this growth of

talent to develop advance competencies and capabilities within the automotive industry", he

added.

Seven (7) teams from six (6) universities competed at the multi-stage design competition, to

be held annually in Malaysia from this year onwards. This year's competition comprised of

teams from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Taylor's

University, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Inti International University and Universiti

Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

The Best Overall team walks away with a cash prize of RM35,000.

About the Malaysian Automotive Institute

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), is an agency under the Ministry of International Trade

and Industry (MITI). Serving as the focal point, coordination centre and think tank for the

nation's automotive industry, it functions to enhance technology, human capital, supply

chain, market outreach and aftersales capabilities of all automotive stakeholders and

ecosystems. For information, please visit www.mai.org.my

About SAE International

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source

for the engineering profession. By uniting more than 127,000 engineers and technical experts,

we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two

priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting

the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our

philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate

Design SeriesTM

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