Introduce your team briefly.
We, the FSUPV Team, are a 7th year team, located in the UPV, Valencia. Our team, currently placed 1st European and 3rd Worldwide in the FS World Ranking, is composed of around 40 students of all engineering-related degrees, engaged in the design and manufacturing of both a Combustion and Driverless prototypes.
How did the cancellation of the formula student competitions impact your team?
Just as has happened to many of the European teams, our workshop has remained closed for three months now, making it impossible to manufacture the FSUPV-07, our newly designed prototype. However, working methodologies and goals have been adapted to the current situation and health measures, allowing our team to furtherly develop other aspects of the competition.
How did your team deal with the situation, what challenges did you face and how did you resolve them?
Certainly, the biggest challenge for many members within the team has come from the motivational viewpoint due to the rapid changes along the season trajectory. However, our work pace has been kept all throughout the quarantine, even increasing the number of meetings throughout the week to reinforce Team Spirit and properly track task developments, therefore adapting to the existing conditions.
What will you do differently for the online event?
In the FSUPV Team, we have the strong belief that all members should develop both Technical and Statics tasks in parallel throughout the season, thus constituting a multi-skilled membership. However, due to the Online Event requirements, our methodology has been adapted by allocating more resources in the development of Static Events. These efforts have resulted in the further development of Design Tools and the evolution of the Business Plan documentation and execution.
What is your biggest achievement in Formula Student so far?
As a 7th year Team with six manufactured prototypes, we are proud to say that our efforts and methodologies have taken us to:
– be Top 1 European Team in FSC WR
– be Top 3 Worldwide in FSC WR
– successfully compete in FSAE Michigan 2018, with a 3rd Overall position and winning the Powertrain Development Award and placing 1st in Endurance Event.
– win one FS Competition (FSN 2017).
Do you believe the future of Formula Student can adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and how?
Certainly, like every massive event of any kind, the different Formula Student organizations should work collaboratively in the development of a well-structured future plan, posing alternatives for various scenarios that build up the necessary confidence for Teams to keep working in their prototypes just with the same drive as we did before the pandemic.
What can the Formula Student organizing bodies do to help the struggling teams due to the current events?
There are many ways in which Teams may struggle in the upcoming season, be it by access to the working facilities or by sponsorship-related issues. Indeed, organizations should as well be keen to listen to what the specific problems of teams may be and act accordingly. What is clear to us all is that efforts will have to be made by both, the Teams and the Organization, to keep the Formula Student spirit alive.
Do you think there are any positive outcomes for the competition from the current situation?
Well, trying to look at things from an optimistic viewpoint, it is made clear that it is an unprecedented opportunity for teams to develop long-term improvements or tackle aspects that would otherwise not be developed during an ordinary season. In terms of the overall FS Competition, it can also bring an opportunity for Teams and Organizations to get closer and long for the future of the competition in a collaborative manner.
Do you think it is beneficial for the teams to participate in an online competition and why?
Of course, such events can play a key role in many aspects of a Team. In the first term, they mean an opportunity to build the foundations for next season Static Events, having an impact on future competition points gain. Regarding members’ motivation, it poses a deadline to be fulfilled and acts as a drive to keep working, countering the psychological impact of this situation. Besides, due to the new formats and requirements of the documentation, it can also bring new ideas to the conventional ways of developing static events, further developing the teams’ presentation abilities. Finally, some further progression can be made if considering subjects out of the box such as the Design Concept proposed by the
FSN-FSEast Online Event, opening new ways of development within the FS Competition.
Did your team help your local society with the COVID-19 situation, if no, please ignore this question, if yes, please provide an example.
Our team participated in a local initiative of additive manufacturing-based protection equipment for hospital-related workers (https://www.lavanguardia.com/local/valencia/20200326/48103520000/upv-fabricar-mascaras-caseras.html ). Besides, we served as a bond to a collaboration between one of our sponsors and the Department of Materials of our University in the production of machined plastic parts for specific facial protection equipment. These manufacturing processes by our Sponsor, Fransal, allowed the use of non-porous materials, contributing to further safety and insulation (http://www.upv.es/noticias-upv/noticia-11960-mascaras-de-bu-es.html).