TUfast started off as a student initiative in the November of 2002. Practical experience was what the 5 TUfast founders felt was missing in their mostly theoretical studies – but where can you learn about working under time pressure and a monetary limit and all that with full responsibility, or even about working in a team and communicating with its members? Thus TUfast was brought to life.
Until today students of the Technical University Munich work on their own race car, taking responsibility for every step they take just like in the real working-world.
The goal is always the same: Building a new, better TUfast race car every single year.
The Formula SAE was founded in 1979 by professors in the United States. With the Formula Student the competition came to Europe in 1999. The project was supposed to let students challenge themselves, test their abilities and learn how to work on a project in a team.
The racing series was a full success and it still is today, with hundreds of teams scattered over the globe and new ones joining every year. The ever rising number of participants also challenges the organizers more and more. The concept of letting students design their own racing car and gather some real experience is also attractive for future potential employers, and so it is that many former Formula Student members today work in leading positions of companies. Some of them have even made their dream come true and today are part of the motorsports world, working in teams from Formula One, NASCAR, WRC, etc.
The basic idea of the FSAE is to design a race car according to the official FSAE rules. Every car can only attend each of the competitions once – the following year a new car, potentially according to new different rules, has to be built.
Although most of the students come to the team because of their passion for motorsports, it soon becomes clear that solely achieving the best lap time on a course is not what the project is about.
Taking part in the Formula Student is a very complex undertaking. Even the best car fails without proper financing or when the fabrication process takes too long and the car can’t take part in the competitions. Yet, that’s what makes the project perfect for young engineers, computer scientists and business economists. The different disciplines come and have to work together in order to achieve the best in a single year.
Great effort also has to be put into the management of the huge expenses of logistics and communication in the team, using the most modern software tools to sort out the masses of data. Needless to say, the big question of how to design the single parts in a cheap and especially light way using new fabrication processes to make the car faster and better takes up a large amount of our time.
TUfast offers every student the chance to profit from the project, gaining experience and knowledge. We as a team see ourselves as interface between the industry and university, organizing various excursions to companies or inviting them to the university and we assist and support in technical or organizational problems.
Another important aspect to mention is the integration of students studying abroad into the team. Nothing makes coming to a new country easier than being able to chat for hours about great experiences at the Formula Student competitions or to discuss technical solutions.
Last but not least, we bring technology and science closer to future university students.