2014 race car

RMIT Electric Racing is one of more than 200 teams from universities around the world that design, build and race their open-wheel racing cars.Later this year, the team will compete at the Formula SAE, an international competition consisting of a series of tests over three days.The team has previously won the electric competition of FSAE-A in 2010 and 2011, but fell short of securing a third straight win when an electrical failure halted the team’s efforts in 2012.

Professor Grahame Holmes, from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering said the competition was an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills in a challenging real world environment."The knowledge and experience they gain from this competition will significantly help their future engineering careers."

Professor Simon Watkins, from the School of Aerospace Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said the FSAE competitions drove interdisciplinary learning at a ferocious pace. "The students are highly motivated and willing to go the extra miles in areas that cross traditional boundaries," Professor Watkins said. "They learn without realising it and encounter issues that industry has to face every day; delivering products to time and cost in a competitive global environment." He said the industry favoured the work-ready skills in these students and regularly sought out strong participants in the competition.

Professor Watkins set up RMIT Racing in 2000 and was the architect of the first automotive engineering degree in Australia. He was pivotal in the design and build of the first ever RMIT electric car, which was also the first ever fully electric Formula SAE car to compete in the world.

The racing team consists of students from various engineering, business, IT and arts disciplines. A small team of 11 students began work on the R13E last year, seven of those continued working on the car through this year and the team has gradually grown to include more than 50 members.

Antonio Sison, e-Racing Commercial Director and Drivetrain Co-Head, and Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) student, said being involved in the team had allowed him to gain experience in a real-life engineering environment. "It’s not like in lectures where everything is ideal - we have to deal with real world problems and setbacks and figure out how to overcome them," he said. "In my relatively short time on the team I have learned valuable project and resource management skills that are not extensively covered in the university curriculum, but are extremely useful in supplementing the technical skills gained in the degree."