Top 15 finish for Formula SAE team

Posted on July 30, 2020

Formula Car

Engineering design teams and clubs offer unparalleled opportunities for students to gain more hands-on experience and compete against other schools, often on the international stage. When the pandemic hit, however, competition became a challenge. That didn’t stop the Queen’s Formula SAE design team from competing online against 148 teams worldwide to place in the top 15 in the 2020 International Formula SAE Series competition.

Designing and building a race car is not an easy task, especially on top of schoolwork and other commitments. The team spent over 10,000 hours designing, building, and testing their car, collaborating throughout the school year on several sub-teams while managing the team’s finances, logistics and external relations.

Typically, the team attends various Formula SAE-sanctioned competitions throughout North America, however the current COVID-19 pandemic shut down competitions in May and June, as well as their shop on Queen’s campus. Instead, they participated virtually, competing against 148 teams to place in the top 15 for their design.

“We have established through experience and research a design philosophy for success, the basis of this being thorough analysis and lots of focus on testing.” says Andrew Hardman, Vehicle Dynamics Lead. Muhammad Arham, Director of Engineering (outgoing) adds, “We look at systems altogether to maximize overall success, and to ensure each system is having a positive effect on other systems.”

As ecstatic as the team has been over their top 15 results, they want to build on this success and become a top 10 team. “We would like to create resources and tools for incoming students, so they can learn from their predecessors,” says Jean-Luc Deveau, Director of Operations (outgoing).

Being a part of the Queen’s Formula SAE team has helped students far beyond simply working on a project they are passionate about. You can often find senior team members mentoring and tutoring younger members before a big test or mid-term. “I have made some of my closest friends at Queen's through the team” says member Caroline Kim, Director of Operations (incoming).

“Not only are team members often ahead of their classes in some technical courses,” says Jean-Luc, “but the connections you make on the team can last a lifetime!”

Learn more about the team at: