May 26, 2010

FEV, Inc. Announces Winners of 2010 FEV Powertrain Development Award

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Advanced powertrain and vehicle systems engineering company FEV, Inc. announced the recipients of the FEV Powertrain Development Award, presented to three collegiate teams that designed, developed and demonstrated exemplary powertrain solutions in the 2010 Formula SAE competition held May 12 – 15 at Michigan International Speedway near Brooklyn, MI.

The Award was presented on Saturday, May 15 during the awards ceremony that was held at the conclusion of the competition. The Powertrain Development Award considers critical powertrain relevant aspects, including performance, fuel economy, durability and cost in determining a winner. The award uses a quantitative scoring system that is intended to be a metric for the optimization process that the student teams go through as they develop their solutions, much like the work that a professional engineer might perform on a day-to-day basis in the industry.

The winning teams were:
1st place: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), (771.1points), $1,500 prize
2nd place: Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon), (738.1points), $750 prize
3rd place: University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, Texas), (698.9points), $300 prize

“In our fourth year as an award sponsor, we continue to be impressed at the ingenuity of these students,” said Robert J. Last, vice president of operations and communications for FEV. “This program, and the preparation that goes into developing these vehicles, promotes the development of critical and practical knowledge that students will need to excel in their careers. We support the Formula SAE program because it fosters the creativity and innovation skills that they must ultimately bring to industry.

Student teams must adhere to the rules specified by the SAE, which can be found on its Web site, www.sae.org. In the process of developing engineering solutions that are represented in their vehicles, students will have also mastered critical elements of strategy planning, project management, contingency planning, and logistics management, according to Last.

“What SAE has built into the FSAE event is a microcosm of the complete engineering and business project cycle, including fundraising and defending the project in a detailed presentation that is, in essence, an engineering study specifying how the vehicle solution was developed, along with all the calculations that support the results. These are essential skills that engineering students need to demonstrate to be successful in the industry,” said Last.

The FEV Powertrain Development Award emphasizes the elements that are most important in the development of a powertrain and provides the engineering student and FSAE team with an “equation” that can be optimized, much like the decisions that today’s powertrain designers and developers must make as they prepare products for production. There are multiple solution paths that a team can employ to win. Full details of the weight factors and scoring system are on the SAE website: http://students.sae.org/competitions/formulaseries/fsae/corpsponsors/fev_rules.pdf.

The winning team, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, did particularly well in the cost and acceleration categories, and remained very competitive in the other categories which earned them the top spot. Only 30 points separated first and second place, and second and third place. The fourth place team, Graz University of Technology, finished only 5 points behind The University of Texas at Arlington, demonstrating the fierce competition that these teams face. Graz had finished in second place in last year’s competition.