Formula Student UK is the most prestigious academic motorsport competition of its kind in the world. In 2014 a multidisciplinary team of CPUT students will once again compete in this international competition.


CPUT’s Formula Student project brings together students from different disciplines and backgrounds with the common goal of building a single seat race car for participation in the Formula Student UK competition in 2014.


The project enables student’s to partake in the design and development of a race car and then subsequently manufacture it at the University. Students learn about the challenges faced when designing and manufacturing a vehicle, the materials and it’s properties as well as the manufacturing processes involved.


Not only does the competition require that the vehicle be technically sound, but the business and finance aspects also need to be addressed by the team. Another key responsibility of the vehicle’s design is that of ergonomic considerations, making sure that vehicle is designed around the driver and ensures that he/she can pilot the vehicle with the greatest ease and comfort. All of these factors can only be achieved by a team that works closely together and understands the importance of effective communication in a teamwork orientated competition. Students learn about the importance of good management during the design and manufacturing stages as well as the importance of coordination during race days.


Currently the team of CPUT students are busy developing a vehicle with an electric power train. It is the vision of CPUT to remain at the heart of innovation, and be taking on the challenge of creating an alternatively powered vehicle; they are not only embarking on an exciting new chapter of engineering education, but also teaching students to look at technologies that will contribute towards sustainable solutions for the future.


How does it use design to improve lives?

The Formula Student vehicle is being designed on the very latest software using the Product Lifecycle Management approach. By using a PLM approach, it is possible to predict the outcome of the product in various real world scenarios. A Digital Mock Up allows the engineers and designers to foresee what issues there might crop up in terms of manufacturing, ergonomics, material strengths and weaknesses, aerodynamics and procurement. This allows the design team to “build the car, before it’s being built.” Using the PLM approach can have far reaching benefits in the design planning of any product.