Thursday 31 March 2016
The Formula Student Society is aiming to build and race a Formula One car at the IMechE Formula Student event this summer. Student Communications Intern, Kajal Kumar, caught up with Savena Kaur Surana to find out more.
What are the aims of the Formula Student Society?
Queen Mary Formula Student Society’s ultimate aim is to build and race a single-seated race car in the world’s largest student motorsport event, ImechE’s Formula Student competition. Everything from designing the chassis to negotiating with possible sponsors is down to the society membership.
What kind of events or meetings do you hold for your members?
We hold weekly meetings for both the Operations and Engineering teams, and every fortnight a whole society meeting, to ensure that all members are on the same page. This also allows a chance for members of the society to get to know each other better and work towards their common goal easier. Although there is an air of professionalism in regards to these meetings, the society as a whole clearly gets along and enjoys what they’re doing.
Is your society aimed at Engineering students?
If it was then I definitely would not be part of it! I study English Literature, but we also have students studying Economics, Mathematics, Accounting, and Comparative Literature. Whilst the Engineering team consists of a wide range of engineering disciplines, from Medical to Electrical Engineering, our Operations team consists of a wide range of departments. It works well because we all bring something different to the team and are able to complement one another.
Is the society what you expected it to be when you joined?
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for. I joined because I wanted to try something new and Formula Student certainly provided a different type of experience. Initially, I was slightly deterred thinking it would be a boys’ club where they talk about cars all day, and as someone who still only has a provisional licence, I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in. But everyone’s been more than welcoming and I’ve discovered things about myself that I didn’t realise I was capable of, like designing a website!
You are building your very own Formula One car – how is this progressing?
We always knew it was going to be a challenging process so it’s definitely lived up to its name. So far the team have made some amazing progress given our resources, and we are well on our way. Currently, the bodywork is being finalised so what the car will literally look like is being decided. The CAD (computer aided design) for the framework is also being finalised and purchases for things such as the steering wheel are well on their way.
What’s the IMechE Formula Student event all about? What are you hoping for at the event?
The event itself is a global competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, which sees 156 teams from 34 different countries compete against each other. Class one is the competition which sees the teams who have created a fully functioning car and they are marked on things such as sustainability and acceleration. Class two focuses on the business presentation side. Points are still awarded for design, business presentation, cost and sustainability. As a society, we are hoping to enter both classes and showcase the best of our capabilities.
Are there any achievements or highlights of the society that you would like to mention?
As a society, we are happy with the fact that we have come so far in the process. For the past 15 years, QMUL has failed to even make it to the competition, so the fact that we have gotten this far is something we are incredibly proud of. At the beginning of the year, our society was barely a society – with no real structure or aims. I can say that as a society we are proud with how far we’ve progressed.
How do you plan to expand your society over the coming years?
Considering how much we’ve grown in the past year, we can only see ourselves growing more over the next few years. Now that we have the groundwork and the right infrastructure, working as a team rather than individual projects, we can definitely see our society growing and becoming more and more successful at each coming Formula Student competition.
Any exciting plans for future events?
Right now our main focus is on the current competition which is 14-17 July, so we’re planning everything from transport to accommodation! And of course, all the celebratory socials after the big competition.
Where can students find out more and keep up to date with your society?
We’d love to get more people on board, so if you’re interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org