2020 Formula SAE Virtual – That’s a wrap!

6/19/2020 5:00:00 PM   FormulaSAE Series

2020 Formula SAE Virtual – That’s a wrap!

There is an old saying coined from the early 1900s that says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. A proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Thanks to the help of many sponsors, volunteers and teams, SAE was able to offer virtual static judging and networking opportunities for the 2020 competition season.

This year our student teams, volunteers and SAE staff were faced with a hardship of having to cancel our onsite competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No one was unaffected by this situation. Mandatory work from home requirements were put in place for most of industry. Some volunteers and staff started their second job playing schoolteacher to their young children now at home. Our FSAE student team members transitioned with their own challenges of virtual learning and being locked out of their machine shops. The way of life was changed dramatically.

Still over the course of these past four months, SAE was able to pivot all the planning they had been working on since last summer for the 2020 competition season into a virtual environment. New digital platforms were identified and used. Volunteers were recruited. Static schedules were produced. Judging of cost, design and presentation events commenced. A student team was recognized out of every queue for awarding monies by sponsors and SAE. But most importantly, student team members and industry professionals were able to participate in the judged events and discuss immediate feedback. Through the static judging and sponsored skillshops offered in the virtual events, the educational benefit of Formula SAE was attainable by those who participated.

Neil Schilke, SAE’s 2001 President once said the following, "The SAE Collegiate Design Competitions have had and continue to have a profoundly important and beneficial impact on global engineering education. They provide the "vehicle" for experiential learning and for team-based education. They facilitate the learning of systems principles and systems engineering techniques and methods, and the competitions do all of this in the context of real-world constraints, pressures and deadlines."

Recently I heard the following quote, “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, take the opportunity to say thank you and grow”. This specific statement has resonated with me. It was spoken with reference to the new work-life balance we have all seen due to the pandemic. However, for this specific competition season I think it fits to serve here too. For everyone involved this year, the SAE staff, student teams, sponsors and our volunteers we were handed some bitter lemons, still through it all we have come out of this season on the other side having grown. I know our decision to transition to a virtual environment was not popular amongst everyone and that is ok because ultimately in the end, I have received many nice emails from teams, sponsors and volunteers expressing how this change even though initially inconvenient was really great. And for team members who kept with us this year, showing all of us who participated that you could “make lemonade” alongside us during the world’s transition to a virtual environment I think is one additional yet valuable skill you would not have otherwise experienced.

Thank you to all the student teams who participated with us this season. Thank you to all the sponsors who continued to support us. Thank you to all the volunteers who raised their hands to join us.

Just to recap the teams who have been recognized, the list is below per static event:

COST EVENT Sponsored by FEV– recognized teams will receive monetary awards of $750

EV Class

  • Virtual Room #1 – Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Virtual Room #2 – Univ of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
  • Virtual Room #3 – Univ of Calif – Irvine

IC Class

  • Virtual Room #4 – Georgia Southern Univ
  • Virtual Room #5 – Univ of Calgary
  • Virtual Room #6 – Michigan Tech Univ
  • Virtual Room #7 – Duke Univ
  • Virtual Room #8 – Tennessee Tech Univ
  • Virtual Room #9 – Purdue Univ - Northwest
  • Virtual Room #10 – Villanova Univ

PRESENTATION EVENT Sponsored by Bosch - recognized teams will receive monetary awards of $750

EV Class

  • Virtual Room #1 – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Virtual Room #2 – Simon Fraser University (also a rookie team)
  • Virtual Room #3 – University of Utah

IC Class

  • Virtual Room #4 – Wroclaw University of Technology
  • Virtual Room #5 – Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Virtual Room #6 – University of Connecticut
  • Virtual Room #7 – University of Saskatchewan
  • Virtual Room #8 – San Jose State University
  • Virtual Room #9 – Ryerson University
  • Virtual Room #10 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Virtual Room #11 – Western Washington University
  • Virtual Room #12 – University of Calgary
  • Virtual Room #13 – Kansas State University
  • Virtual Room #14 – University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Virtual Room #15 – Clemson University

DESIGN EVENT - recognized teams will receive monetary awards of $750

EV Class

  • Virtual Room #1 – McGill University
  • Virtual Room #2 – University of Washington
  • Virtual Room #3 – Olin College of Engineering
  • Virtual Room #4 – University of Texas-Austin

IC Class

  • Virtual Room #5 – University of California, San Diego
  • Virtual Room #6 – Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Virtual Room #7 – University of California, Berkeley
  • Virtual Room #8 – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Virtual Room #9 – Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Virtual Room #10 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Virtual Room #11 – University of British Columbia
  • Virtual Room #12 – Queen’s University
  • Virtual Room #13 – University of Waterloo
  • Virtual Room #14 – University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Virtual Room #15 – Clemson University

MacLean-Fogg Fastening Challenge Award

  • 1st - Oregon State University (Global Formula Racing) - $1,000
  • 2nd - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (Illini Formula Electric) - $750
  • 3rd - McGill University (McGill Formula Electric) - $500

2020 Siemens Digital Twin Engineering Excellence Award

  • 1st - Oregon State U. - Global Formula Racing $ 2,300
  • 2nd - McGill U. - McGill Formula Electric $ 2,000
  • 3rd - Western U. - Western Formula Racing $ 1,600
  • 4th - U. of Pennsylvania - Penn Electric Racing $950
  • 5th - U. of Akron - Zips Racing $800

2020 Siemens Software Success Video Award

  • 1st McGill U. - McGill Formula Electric $1,100

And a special thanks to all our sponsors who continued to support with 2020 virtual event:

  • Altair Engineering
  • Blue Origin
  • Bosch
  • Cummins, Inc
  • DS SolidWorks Corp.
  • FEV
  • Lockheed Martin
  • MacLean-Fogg
  • MathWorks
  • Multimatic
  • Polaris
  • Precision Castparts Corporation
  • Toyota
  • Siemens
  • Vi-Grade