Exams, tests are a part and parcel of every student’s journey. The world we live in today is a highly competitive one with a huge number of students vying to outscore each other and give their best performance. For a student learning a subject in theory and applying it into practice is always a different experience. It is every aspiring engineer’s dream to one day be a part of a race team and work on building a race car. Now imagine working as part of a race team designing, developing and building a working race car for an international formula competition…while still being a student in college; sounds exciting correct? Formula Student is an international competition that challenges engineering students across the globe to do exactly this! We’re going to tell you how Pravega Racing – India’s best Formula Student (Combustion) team has embraced the Formula Student challenge.
Formula Student is an annual international student design competition organized by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) International. SAE International is a global professional association and standards developing organization for engineers across a variety of industries. Formula Student has been around since 1980 and the first event was held in Austin, Texas, USA. Ever since it has expanded to various countries including Germany, Italy, Hungary, India, Austria, Japan, Australia, etc. Formula Student is an international student design competition that challenges engineering students around the world to develop, design, and build a formula-style race car. The car built by student teams is scored under 2 different types of events – Static and Dynamic. Static events are designed to test the business, presentation, and communication skills of students. The events under static include – Engineering Design, Cost and Manufacturing, Business Plan Presentation. On the other hand, dynamic events are designed to test the technical, engineering, and performance aspects of the car built by the teams. Dynamic events include – Acceleration, Skid Pad, Endurance, Efficiency, Autocross. For a team to participate in Formula Student events, they must first ace the registration quiz. This quiz is conducted online and is based on the rules and regulations of the Formula Student competition. The teams with the quickest completion time and also the best scores will qualify for the global Formula Student events.
Pravega Racing is the official Formula Student (Combustion) team of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore, India. Pravega Racing was established in 2009 as a race team founded by a group of VIT students who wanted to leverage what they had learnt in theory and apply it into practice by building a race car. One of the best testaments to the importance of Formula Student and the positive impact it has on participating students is the incredible rise of Pravega Racing. Formula Student is a student competition designed to give participating students a good taste of what the automobile world is really like. Not only does a student team have to develop, design and build a working formula-style race car they also have to take care of the business side of things involved in the process. Hence, making Formula Student a holistic competition and a great learning curve for all students and teams involved. Formula Student is more than a motorsport competition, it is a launchpad and platform which teaches and shapes students to get ready for what the global automobile industry has to offer.
Pravega Racing is made up of a 42-member strong team divided across 8 different departments - Aerodynamics, Design, Composites, Data Acquisition, Vehicle Dynamics, Powertrain, Drivetrain, Brakes, Electrical and Management. Only bona fide students of VIT, Vellore can be members of Pravega Racing. The members of team Pravega come from various fields of engineering taught at VIT such as automobile, mechanical, electrical etc. Pravega starts recruiting new members from their first year. The team follows a system where senior members and department heads actively mentor their juniors groom and train them to lead various aspects of the team in the future. This method of mentorship allows for a great united culture and also helps a great deal in internal communication, coordination. The nature of the Formula Student competition is such that students are taught leadership, responsibility and accountability from an early age which will only go on to reap rewards when they actually step into the real world on their own.
Pravega Racing not only has to design and build the car from scratch on their own but they also have to run the organization like a business while covering aspects such as raising funds via sponsorships, partnerships, sourcing of parts, logistics, marketing, and general administrative work. While they may still be engineers, the members of Pravega Racing are also well-groomed in business-related matters due to the dual nature of their role in the team. Formula Student is an international student design competition where over 100 universities around the world compete against each other to be the best in the world.
Many of the Pravega Racing alumni have gone on to work in various car companies around the world thanks to their involvement and participation in Formula Student. Having a strong and active alumni network is very important for a student racing team. Past members and team alumni work closely on both engineering and business-related matters with the aim of taking the team to new heights. Pravega Racing currently ranked amongst the top 25 combustion teams in the world of Formula Student is a great success story and also one which continues to inspire a lot of college racing teams from India. It can be safe to say Pravega Racing has fully embraced the Formula Student challenge!