Saturday, 14 December 2013

The FSG Workshops - An (unknown) source of knowledge

On 2nd of November this year the 14th FSG Workshop was held in Abstatt at Bosch Engineering. One to two of these workshops are held annually, bringing the teams and officials closer together and spreading knowledge among the participants.

The main workshop, held in autumn at a sponsor facility, currently follows a similar structure each year: It starts with a short introduction, followed by a brief summary of rules changes, FSAE and FSG. After that, presentations about organisational and technical topics held by officials, former and current team members are held.
After a short lunch break there is a highlight speech about an innovative technical topic held by the sponsor of the workshop site. This is often well received due to chance to digest, before diving back into the details of successfully taking part in FS competitions or at least getting your car through scrutineering somehow.

The afternoon session features presentations by the winning teams of FSC and FSE, telling the other teams what they did to succeed and why they did it. During the afternoon session there is also probably the most important part of the workshop: The team captain round table. Every team is allowed to send one representative who will meet with the other team representatives and officials of FSG in order to provide direct feedback and discuss any issues that have come up. These discussions are often very interesting and give the officials and teams a chance to get to know what the "other side" thinks, plans and does throughout the year and during the competition.

I think that every team planning to attend FSG should send at least one person to the annual workshop, provided that this is financially feasible (e.g. if you are not an overseas time or have to fly in). The chance to directly talk to members of the rules committee, scrutineers etc. often makes life easier for both parties: Quickly discussing about hand drawn sketches while being fueled with free cake and drinks can save weeks of strenous email ping-pong and help to prevent severe misunderstandings.

However, it seems that most teams do not know, that even if they were not able to attend, they are still able to access the shown information. We put all the presentation slides and videos of the speeches, if recorded, online in the Academy section of the FSG website. Thus the only thing you have to do is to log onto the FSG website and go to FSG Workshops . There you will find all workshops ever held, sorted by date. The links include all the information that we have available on the workshops.
A short note for the non-German speakers: Since the workshop in Mannheim 2007 all the workshops are held in English. Thus you do not have to rely on ugly Google translations although English with a German accent is sometimes equally as ... challenging. 

If you do not know whether you should build a spaceframe or a monocoque then you probably want to take a thorough look at the respective presentations given by Rennteam Stuttgart about spaceframe chassis design at Munich 2008 or the two Monocoque presentations held by TU Darmstadt or ETH Z├╝rich at the Euromould in Frankfurt 2008

Or you could for example watch a video of Daniel Deussen & Karl Weinreich, both experienced FSG scrutineers, doing a complete technical inspection on Stuttgart's car in Mannheim 2007, which, although quite some rules have changed since then, could give a kickstart, if you have never been through technical inspection before.

Maybe you are more interested in the electric powertrain design of WHZ Zwickau in 2010...in that case I suggest to have a look at their presentation held about this topic at Wart 2010.

If you want to start with the most recent workshop, you may watch all presentations here .
Please note that all information given in the presentations, hand-outs and videos is always related to the rules being in effect that year.

I think I have made my point...if you are having a lazy afternoon during the christmas break and your stomach is full and you are bored, browse the workshops, heaps of information are there waiting for you. You may also search information about a specific topic, for example the challenge of building carbon fibre rims, there you go. You are welcome.

Please note:
If you think that any content in this post is worth discussing, please do so in the FSAE.com forum and not in the comment section of this blog, to make sure that everyone can benefit from the contents of the discussion, even if he/she is not reading this blog.

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