Every year, the University of Auckland Formula SAE team designs and builds a car to compete in the Formula Student Australasia competition, a part of the global Formula Student championship. Therefore, we are always searching for potential new members to add to our ever-growing team of passionate enthusiasts. Whether it's composites, autonomous, business, or any other subgroup, we always cherish new members who will help us in our goal to win the championship once more.
Following our championship success the previous year, 2023 has been the year where the team has received one of the biggest rookie intakes. Here are the experiences of five of our newcomers who joined this year from three different subgroups.
JEREMY IBRAHIM: COMPOSITES
Four years ago, when I was still in high school and looking at which university to attend, one university that I visited had a Formula Student car on display. As an avid car enthusiast, I immediately started asking questions to the student giving me a tour. I have always wanted to dip my toes in motorsports, so seeing a university-centric motorsport league intrigued me incredibly. That's when I first knew about Formula Student.
Fast forward to today, after six months in the team, working with the University of Auckland FSAE team is the main highlight of my university life. Even though I'm not an engineering student, as I study Computer Science, the team has always done their best to include me throughout the manufacturing and development of our cars. There were a few new things and a noticeable learning curve that I needed to catch up on, most notably new manufacturing terms, but the team were more than helpful in teaching me to get up to speed. Despite sometimes working till late at night, I can see the team's motivation to finish work, and it also gives me the energy to keep on going.
Outside of manufacturing and serious stuff, I loved our social events. Even though we may seem all serious and stiff or under pressure from a tight schedule, we still remember how to have fun. We hold an introductory party every semester to break the ice and loosen up before our hard work starts. Each subgroup also hosts social events independently, and others may also join. My subgroup, Composites, held a barbeque during our weekly team meeting. The Mechanical subgroup also has golf nights, and every once in a while, the entire team goes on a go-karting session to Ace Motorsport to see whoever can set the fastest lap in our driver's selection. Even though I was pretty slow, I still had lots of fun.
F:SAE:47 isn't just all about engineering, STEM, and all that jargon. Business, costs, sponsor relations and management play a huge role in the team, so if you aren't a STEM student but are still interested in joining the team, there is a place for you. Not only that, but I also got to network with several key figures in the automotive and motorsports industries, unlocking new opportunities through our alum network. Overall, I highly recommend joining the University of Auckland Formula Student team. The experience, memories, and connections made are priceless.
MATTHEW LOH: COMPOSITES
Working in the Composite subgroup for the FSAE:47 team has been a blessing! I have learned much about carbon fibre manufacturing and how a car works. There are few opportunities to apply what you learn in university to a working physical product, let alone a race car. Despite the many hours of work I commit, I enjoy doing what I do. I have met so many new people and made many new friends who are so passionate about race cars.
ETHAN TEOH: MECHANICAL
Motorsport and engineering have always interested me, which motivated me to join the Formula SAE team. I joined the team earlier this year as a mechanical newbie. I immediately felt connected with like-minded individuals with similar interests.
The experience I have gained has been precious, and I have made many new connections. As a mechanical newbie, my role on the team is machining parts using heavy machinery such as the lathe, mill, drop saw, etc.; precious skills to learn that will be especially useful with an engineering degree – we won't get this sort of experience with any other club on campus. You get what you put in, and it's 100 per cent worth the effort. Formula SAE has expanded my engineering skills and taught me invaluable lessons in teamwork, problem-solving, and perseverance. So far, the decision to join the team has been one of the best – and I will remember many memories for the rest of my life!
FINN GORDON: MECHANICAL
My name is Finn, and I became an FSAE:47 mechanical newbie in April 2023 during my first year of studying engineering. I spent my first few weeks learning about machining techniques such as lathing and milling, as well as understanding the key components of the car. This foundation led to learning CAD, specifically Fusion 360, to take on small design projects for the team. The mechanical subgroup encompasses all moving parts of the car, including the suspension, powertrain, drivetrain, and steering. Joining the team as a first-year student helped me speedrun my engineering specialisation decision, as I was able to experience each of them through the team and discover what I enjoyed the most. Because of this, I highly recommend first-year students to join the team. Watching the car slowly take shape and seeing the countless work hours pay off is incredibly rewarding. I can't imagine my university experience without being a part of this team.
VEER KAPOOR: BUSINESS
Being a newbie on the team is an incredibly fulfilling experience. The team's dynamics offer a welcoming environment that allows one to learn and grow in ways that a traditional classroom setting might not provide. My involvement has extended to several facets, including designing the team's formal shirt and participating in sponsor relations.
These opportunities have allowed me to contribute creatively and professionally to the team's image. Participating in team events such as tech night has enriched my experience, making it more hands-on and engaging. Working in the team prepares me for future professional endeavours and aids my personal development. The more experienced team members are always there to guide and teach, and the camaraderie among team members is motivating and inspiring.
One of the most exciting aspects of being on the team is the opportunity to see my work come to fruition. Witnessing an idea or strategy I contributed to being implemented is genuinely fulfilling. The positive work environment, collaborative spirit, and the results of my efforts make being part of the team an invaluable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in business, engineering, or simply working as part of a dedicated and passionate group of people that love racing.
Below is a sneak peek of how some of our team members like to wind down!