Through the Formula SAE competition organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia, Team Swinburne offers engineering and business students a major project designing, building, marketing and racing a small, open-wheel racecar. Students work together on a complex engineering project in a collegiate, team environment while managing a budget, commercial relationships, compliance issues and a hard deadline.
The Australasian Formula SAE competition features the best engineering universities in the Asia–Pacific region, as well as regular visiting teams from USA and Europe. Swinburne University of Technology has a proud history with Formula SAE Australasia, having fielded a team in the event every year since its inception in 2001. Thanks to the University’s hands-on learning approach and industry connections, Team Swinburne’s cars are always competitive and have frequently graced the top of the leaderboard.
However, just as important as success at competition is the experience Team Swinburne offers to students. Through the Team students have the opportunity to extend their professional and technical skills in a supportive and enjoyable environment. Team members are drawn from all levels in the University, from first to final year, with alumni and more experienced students mentoring their newer colleagues. Each year, students have their skills and knowledge pushed to the limit producing innovative, robust and validated designs to ensure the legacy of Team Swinburne continues to grow.
In recent years Team Swinburne has become one of the few Australian teams to focus exclusively on electric-powered vehicles. At the forefront to technology, Team Swinburne relies on the ingenuity of its students and often on prototype components as it competes against conventional internal combustion vehicles using well-established and understood technologies. However, despite the challenges posed by being at the cutting-edge of racing, the Team has moved from strength to strength:
- In 2011, Team Swinburne became the first racing team in Australia, and only the second in the world, to become 100% carbon neutral, through the switch to an electric-powered vehicle and an ongoing commitment to offsetting carbon emissions.
- Team Swinburne’s 2012 car was the number one electric-powered vehicle in the Formula SAE Australasia event and 34th in the electric vehicle category globally.
- Our 2013 car was the first Australian-built electric vehicle with a full aerodynamic package, and also our first to feature twin motors.
- 2014 saw Team Swinburne’s world ranking for SAE electric vehicles jump to 28, with our lightest electric vehicle to date, and our best performance in the overall competition since the switch to electric vehicles.
In 2015, Team Swinburne will be aiming to build on success from 2014 by producing another lightweight electric vehicle and focussing on reliability and consistency of performance. As ever, the Team’s success depends not only on the commitment and dedication of our team members, but also the continued support and enthusiasm of our sponsors, for which we are very grateful. We hope you take the time to look around our website and come back often over the course of 2015 to watch this year’s car take shape for its big day in December.