Murph visits New Zealand Formula SAE team

On Monday 16 April, V8 Supercar driver, Greg Murphy dropped in to visit the University of Auckland Formula SAE team who are competing in a vehicle design and build competition, the Australasian Formula SAE, this year. Murphy, who was visiting with the assistance of MTA, talked to students about developing winning teams in a competitive environment as well as the transfer of technology from the race track to everyday application. “I was really impressed with the innovation the guys showed along with a strong team spirit. They have managed to combine a wide set of skills with some creative thinking to produce a really strong entry. I reckon they have a top chance to taking out the Australasian leg of the competition this year,” says Murphy.
The New Zealand team is made up of 30 engineering and commerce students who have a keen interest in the automotive industry, voluntarily working together with the ultimate goal of winning the 2012 Formula SAE Australasia competition and then onto the world competition. The idea behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company contracts a student design team to develop a small formula type race car. The prototype race car is evaluated for its potential as a production item. The student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is ensuring on-track safety with the cars being driven by the students themselves. The prototype race car is judged based on a number of different factors such as design, presentation, fuel economy, endurance and acceleration. The competition encompasses most areas of a business including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management, and fund raising. It takes students out of the classroom and puts them in a real world situation.
The team’s leader, Som Sharma said that it was a fantastic opportunity for students to mingle with a sports professional who has had so much experience in motor sport. “It’s both encouraging and motivating having a New Zealand icon such as Murph to show such enthusiasm for our project and what we are working towards. Knowing we are doing things along similar lines to professional teams and the skills we are gaining and developing during our time in Formula SAE, is truly rewarding,” says Som.