Engineering legends from Formula-1 present at Formula Student Symposium

Almost 400 students from 16 countries representing 26 teams participated in this weekend’s Formula Student Symposium, organized by Széchenyi István University. Engineering legends with previous experience in Formula 1 teams presented, showcasing the breadth and strength of the institution’s international network. Following the conference, the University is also hosting the Formula Student Online competition on 4 December.

Hundreds of teams worldwide work year by year in the global Formula Student higher education engineering design competition to achieve the best results in the development of their single seater racing car as well as in the associated project management and construction tasks. An annual highlight of the movement is the Formula Student Symposium, founded and initiated by Széchenyi István University, which the institution organized for the seventh time on the 27-28 November. Twenty-six teams registered from 16 countries, spanning the globe from Canada through Spain and Germany to India, showing the widespread popularity of the event. Following the Symposium, Széchenyi University will host the Formula Student Online competition with 19 teams from 13 countries.

fss_syn.jpgDriving the Formula Student Symposium and the Formula Student Online this year, too, is the teacher-student community of Széchenyi István University. On the photo, a section of the organising and supporting committee: Péter Németh, Dániel András Németh, Tamás Kolossváry, Dean, Dr Barna Hanula, János Kun and Zsolt Nagy (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

In the joint press conference for both events, the patron, Dr László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology, lauded the significance of the events: „No small task is awaiting future engineers - to establish the everyday life and mobility of the next generation. Continuous technological development as well as social, environmental and sustainability requirements are fundamentally changing the landscape of the automotive industry and the associated motor racing disciplines. The industry is seeking the innovations and means of propulsion that will ensure a breakthrough for the upcoming decades”, he emphasized, adding that this search for direction provides an excellent opportunity for the Hungarian government to join the fundamental research and development of the future through HUMDA Hungarian Motorsport and Green Mobility Development llc.

Balázs Weingartner, president and CEO of HUMDA elaborated: their goal - amongst others – is to enable students and Formula Student teams to put their knowledge into practice. He added that such competitions help strengthen participants’ motivation and improve their competencies.

Zoltán Szujó, former sports commentator and chief advisor of HUMDA reminisced about his meetings with professionals who, starting out from Formula Student, went on to reach the upper echelons of motorsports. In his opinion, motorsport can once again take charge and lead the way in ensuring society’s mobility with the least environmental impact.

Dr Barna Hanula, Dean of the Audi Hungaria Faculty of Vehicle Engineering at Széchenyi University, explained that Formula Student is a lot more than a simple motorsport competition series: it is rather the best training ground for engineers, economists and law professionals working in the teams, who first hand learn best practice in management, organization, economics and communication, in an environment simulating the operation of a company. He highlighted that at the Symposium, attendees can learn from the most famous experts globally. This weekend's event will also feature Ulrich Baretzky, the leading figure in racing engine development, whose power unit won Nelson Piquet the first Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix and has since gone on to win two F1 World Championship titles and 14 Le Mans victories. Luca Marmorini, who led engine development for Ferrari and Toyota in Formula 1 for 19 years, will also be giving a presentation. Alongside experienced motorsport professionals, the Symposium also placed a remarkable emphasis on the latest innovations: Johannes Betz, founder of the Autonomous Indy-winning TUM Racing Team led attendees into the details of driverless racing and its significance in the industry, while leading experts from Rimac Automobili are showing the way forward in battery- and manufacturing technology.

Dávid Kiss, president of the Association of Automotive Engineers, the cooperative partner of both events emphasised the key role of Széchenyi István University in the development of Formula Student in Hungary. „Vehicles of the future are becoming ever more complex, transforming from systems of components to systems of systems. Such a challenge can only be met with a system of systems, namely the smooth cooperation of industry and government.” – he remarked.

With an unprecedented line-up, deep technical insights and actual glimpses into the future with a panel discussion of the upcoming decades of motorsport as well as the combustion class of Formula Student, FS Symposium 2021 retained its prominent position in the Formula Student calendar for this year as well.

Formula Student Online had to be transformed for 2021 with the fortunate re-emergence of on-site competitions. This year’s competition in Autumn places the focus on challenging feedback to the teams, whereby the designs submitted by the teams can focus on a single, highlighted subassembly which goes through multiple stages of review by the expert judge groups to select the winning design. Alongside this so-called Design Highlights Challenge, teams compete in our Business Plan Presentation with their business acumen as well, showcasing their best ideas for a business based on their car. Dynamic events are taken into the e-sports atmosphere with a self-developed racing simulator modification, designed specifically for the competition to best replicate the experience of driving a real Formula Student car but without the difficult requirements of actually building a car and taking it out on a racetrack. All these challenges culminate in a livestreamed final day on 4 December, which can be followed on Formula Student Online’s YouTube channel. Follow us live and see the high level of knowledge in the teams as well as their skills in our e-sports inspired simulator.

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