Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly Society of Automotive Engineers) originating in 1979 with the Mini Indy at the University of Houston, evolving into a full design and road-racing event with increased engineering content, eventually adopting the name of Formula SAE, and expanding to encompass 511 registered teams worldwide.
The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.
A year of hard work and perseverance culminates for teams in a series of international competitions based in various regions each year, giving each team the opportunity to compare their work to that of their peers, and to see a physical display of their efforts.
Competition events provide the framework for judgement of each car, and are separated into two categories – static and dynamic. Static events comprise of Design, Cost Analysis and Business Presentations, with Dynamic events made up of Endurance, Autocross, Efficiency, Acceleration and Skid Pad rounds.