- On July 12 and 13, the Bosch proving ground in Boxberg saw more than 230 members of European Formula Student teams sponsored by the Bosch Group participating in the company’s yearly testing workshop. As in previous years, the teams had the opportunity to test vehicles they designed and built themselves under race conditions and to optimize them for Formula Student Germany (FSG).
- Robert Bosch GmbH
230 students invited to Boxberg to optimize race cars built to their own designs
- Two-day workshop for teams sponsored by Bosch
- Over 230 participants and 25 race cars lined up for testing
- Bosch Group supporting 36 teams across Europe
“The workshop allowed us to prepare our cars for FSG and to exchange ideas with the engineers and experts at Bosch. We rarely get such ideal test conditions and such a big track to work with,” says Dominic Mildenberger, president of RWTH Aachen University’s Ecurie Aix racing team. “Here in Boxberg we run through all the tests, including scrutineering and various tests of acceleration and endurance – just as we do at the FSG race at the Hockenheimring,” continues Mildenberger.
Steady growth of Bosch sponsorship activities
Since 2007, Bosch has been supporting selected teams as they participate in Formula Student competitions in Germany and around the world. This year, the Bosch Group is sponsoring 36 university teams from Germany, Austria, France, and the UK. Additional teams from the USA, India, China, and Brazil will also be supported. Bosch’s sponsorship revolves around activities such as expert workshops addressing wiring harness design, safety when working with high voltages, and measurement techniques, as well as holding vehicle-testing events. Teams also receive support in the form of motor racing components, measuring equipment, and financial resources.
Expert advice and help handling components complete the Bosch Group’s Formula Student support package. These activities go down well with the teams receiving the support: “Bosch sponsorship means we get important electric and electronic components for our car – and it gives us the opportunity to take part in workshops for wiring harness design or for vehicle testing. Without our longstanding partnership with Bosch, we wouldn’t be able to carry out this project so successfully or run a car demonstrating such a high standard of engineering,” says Stephan Rienmüller, organizational head of the Johanneum Racing team from the University of Applied Sciences in Graz.
Bosch also benefits from its longstanding commitment to Formula Student, as it has provided the company and subsidiaries ETAS GmbH and Bosch Engineering with many highly qualified new recruits over the years. “Getting involved in Formula Student makes for a win-win situation for participants and supporting companies. Bosch offers support to highly motivated and qualified potential recruits as they work on an exciting and interdisciplinary project. At the same time, we can showcase ourselves as an attractive and innovative employer,” says Bernhard Bihr, the president of Bosch Engineering, a subsidiary of the Bosch Group specializing in engineering services. “As of the end of 2012, Bosch Engineering had taken on 50 engineers who were previously involved in Formula Student,” explains Bihr.
Preparation for working life
It’s not the fastest car that wins Formula Student, but rather the best overall concept. Students plan, design, and build their cars themselves, as well as coming up with a business plan and marketing concept. A panel of judges from the motor racing, automotive, and automotive supply industries assess the race cars according to a total of eight criteria, including design, efficiency, acceleration, and fuel consumption. “The competition is an excellent way of preparing for working life,” says Karl Klöss, system engineer for battery systems and high-voltage onboard electronics at Bosch Engineering in Abstatt. Until a year ago, Klöss was head of battery development for DHBW Ravensburg’s Formula Student team, Global Formula Racing.
“During my time competing in Formula Student, I learnt many things that I can apply to my job today, for instance the importance of interfaces. It’s not just individual technical components that make up a car but also the way they work together and the synergies that can be harnessed within the system as a whole. This is just as true for a team of people: whether it’s within Formula Student or in working life, it’s important to work together as a team, to exchange views, and to have an exciting project to work on together.”
A competition of international standing
The FSG is organized under the auspices of the VDI, the association of German engineers. In the eight years since it was launched, it has become one of the most important international design competitions for young engineers. At this year’s FSG, from July 30 to August 4, 2013, a total of 115 teams and more than 2,500 students will be competing against each other with race cars they designed and built themselves. In addition to Formula Student Germany, Formula Student and Formula SAE competitions are held across the world.