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TU Students on the Home Stretch

Chemnitz University of Technology’s T.U.C. Racing Team introduces themselves

Motorsport legend Ross Brawn once said: "There are two really innovative forms of motorsport left. One of them is Formula 1 and the other one is Formula Student." Since Formula Student’s first event in Germany in 2005 at the Hockenheimring, the competition has been transformed from purely construction-based into an international breeding ground for talent with far-reaching positive impacts even beyond the university setting. “As Chemnitz University of Technology’s Formula Student team, we are pleased to be part of one of the most modern and innovative forms of competitive automobile racing. Along with Saxony’s other Formula Student teams from Zwickau (WHZ), Dresden (Elbflorace), Freiberg (Racetech) and Mittweida (TMM), we are on the cutting edge of innovation in Saxony’s automotive industry,” says Jan Wiesner, Leader of T.U.C. Racing.

With approximately 50 team members from many diverse fields of study, T.U.C. Racing e. V. is Chemnitz University of Technology’s first Formula Student team and also the largest student association in Chemnitz according to member count and financial resources. Founded in 2015, the team set out to compete in European Formula Student Events with an electric race car. The T.U.C. Racing team has already celebrated their first successes in 2016 in Italy, where they took first place in the “Business Plan Presentation” category and second place at the “Engineering Design Event”.  

Formula Student Germany (FSG) is currently organized into three separate competitions: alongside the classic Combustion class, the Electric class has also been growing over the last few years. The T.U.C. Racing Team will compete in this division. Beginning in 2018, the autonomous Driverless vehicle class will also be included for the first time.

Universities from all over the world take part in Formula Student competitions, where they are judged according to both dynamic and static disciplines together, unlike in classic motorsport. This difference is most apparent in the judging of static disciplines in which student teams present their constructive solutions, calculated production costs and business plan. Participating vehicles also undergo a strict technical inspection before being allowed to compete in dynamic disciplines such as acceleration, skidpad, handling, endurance and fuel-efficiency ratings.

Construction Challenges Enrich Academic Education

Before a team can enter a competition with their Formula-Student-compliant vehicle, they must successfully endure a long period of organization, planning, drafting, construction and finally vehicle assembly. This presents a considerable challenge for team members, who are all simultaneously coping with the normal demands of university life. Each challenge met enriches members’ academic education.  This includes finding practical technical solutions, such as building an electric motor fully developed by the team as well as jointly handling any problems that arise, usually on short notice, like the failure of a procurement channel for raw materials.

Good Career Prospects for Former “Racers”

Partners and sponsors of the team also play a significant role in the vehicle creation process, as material, logistic, financial and creative support is indispensable for turning a vehicle concept into reality. Formula Student sponsorship is a win-win situation for all involved. Automotive industry experts, engineering companies and businesses from other sectors closely examine what the soon-to-be engineers, designers, economists and students from various other fields are working on. It has become a tradition for team members to begin working for these partners even as they are completing their academic studies and then to begin their professional careers there after graduation.

The “Bosch Engineering” corporation alone has already hired more than 180 new recruits who were involved with Formula Student during their studies. T.U.C. Racing Team members are also working in companies like BMW, ThyssenKrupp and Continental as interns and work placement students.

While attending an event at the Hockenheimring in 2017, Reiner Friedrich, Vice President of Driver Assistance for BMW, commented favorably on the future prospects of student participants considering the interdisciplinary culture of the teams and their adept and flexible working style.

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(Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Mario Steinebach

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