Let the Monkey Business Begin!

MonkeybusinessDSC_5056It’s Day #2 of the Formula SAE Design Competition, dominated by tech, tech, and re-tech.

“Tech” is the grueling inspection process that each team must pass before they are allowed to go “VROOM! VROOM!” Industry professionals, well-versed in global product development programs, put student design teams through the same intense scrutiny that keeps professional engineers scrambling. They look for rules compliance, safety issues, and the little things that may work for a day, but don’t ensure long-term reliability. Anything that doesn’t pass muster goes back into the trailer for rework and re-test. No discussion, simply Go/No Go.

S&T Racing’s major systems did fine but they had to install small sheet metal and composite panels to cover exposed engine components and add safety wires to a bolt or two, enough for the Miners to get the “go” sticker by early afternoon.

The real pressure is in design. Five or more expressionless, blue-shirted judges descend on your car while you and your teammates student explain every possible facet of your year-long efforts.

FSAE designDSC_5242At the same time.

In an area the size of a parking space.

While the same thing happens to other teams in the adjoining parking spaces.

At the same time.

It’s a test of your knowledge, communication skills and ability to tune out all the distractions; probably the most intense part of the static events because you get just one chance to do it. Same with the cost presentation, which follows about an hour later.

No puffery, just proof that you know your stuff.

The “VROOM! VROOM!” starts tomorrow.