Now that the Formula Student European series has wrapped up for 2016, its time to recap with a summary of each Swedish Formula Student teams season. We will feature one team per day during this week. This will be an opportunity for SVEA members to understand not only the projects themselves, but also how the teams spread out over Sweden and how each have approached and achieved in their own way.
We start the week with Karlstad University and their team Clear River Racing (CRR), based in the motorsport heartland of Sweden. CRR took with them their car - ethanol powered, turbocharged and equipped with an extensive aerodyanamics package – to the competition in the UK.
For the design phase of the project CRR chose to utilize Scrum, a process more commonly associated with software design but which is finding its way into common product development projects. “We have worked with short sprints so that problems can be solved early and fast” explaned Niklas. Agnes explain further that “a group member develops a number of design-ideas, then the group discusses and simulated their designs. Depending on the results and manufacturability, a decision is made on whether to keep working on the part or restart the process.”
The product development methodology was not without its problems however with both Niklas and Agnes agreeing that the biggest challenge of the project came three quarters of the way in. Agnes explains “Despite good planning we ended up with a scenario were there was too much to do and too little time to do it” with Niklas clarifying that they also had component delivery problems beyond their control – a problem that even large manufacturers face in every project.
And this was a key learning for both of them with Agnes explaining what the project meant for her “Personally, I learned how to better handle critic - I know what it means to be responsible for something and I know how to be more honest with myself and with others. I’ve got a greater understanding of the way that a project works and with a better understanding for the different processes involved.” It is easy to forget that this is an educational program designed to give students hands on experience however both Niklas and Agnes were keen to stress that any employer who hires one of the team will benefit directly by having someone who not only has relevant project and design experience but also someone who is driven, ambitious and has an understanding of how to take professional responsibility.
It was a tough end to the UK competition for Clear River Racing with a number of mechanical failures during the weekend. The 41st place overall at the UK competition don’t show the true successes of CRR. They recorded their highest ever score in the business presentation, cost and design event and were the first Swedish team to pass through all scrutineering checks. This clearly demonstrated a high level of preparedness and the professionalism of the team. Niklas summed up well their plans for 2017 “We’ll be back at Silverstone next year with a new car but the same spirit and team feeling!”
The SVEA board and members wish you all the best and look forward to your return in 2017!