Chalmers car projects create coveted engineers

​Derek Crabb is the motorsport manager and responsible for Volvo's drive line. He is very positive to the training that Chalmers is involved in, with the various student car projects, where Chalmers Formula Student is the most famous. "It gives us an opportunity to meet future engineers, a good base for picking up future talents", says Derek Crabb.

​Chalmers Formula Student is run as a course. The final goal is the world's largest student engineer competition where the students will present and sell a concept for a small formula car. The students themselves, supported by teachers, can construct and build a race car from scratch. ECO Marathon is another project aimed at building a small vehicle that will transport one person as far as possible to one liter of gasoline. Sven Andersson knows very much about Chalmers various car projects. He is Professor in the areas internal combustion engines and automotive engineering. He was involved early in various CDIO activities and one of those who launched Formula Student and ECO Marathon at Chalmers.

CDIO is an abbreviation of Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate, which means that students in a CDIO project can plan, develop, manufacture and operate complex technical products and systems, in teams with modern IT tools.

"Many people think it's just about building a car, but it's a project that includes all parts of manufacturing a product, any product. Students involved in this kind of project will be able to test what they really can”, says Sven Andersson.

He also explains that in the car projects there are complex challenges that create better engineers because they have the opportunity already in their education, to work in industrial-like projects. What they are designing they must also build and test. The students work in multicultural teams and that is an important experience, he believes. The education entails that the students who are later employed in industry start to produce directly at the start of the employment. Derek Crabb on Volvo agrees on the same thing.

“Formula Student is an excellent program that provides a great opportunity for a positive exchange between the students and Volvo. They get their academic education through Formula Student, where they also learn to work in projects, together”, says Derek Crabb.

In addition to Volvo, Chalmers Formula Student also collaborates with a number of other companies that are involved in the course in one way or another. The support is needed purely financially, but the contacts are also important in order to increase the professional relevance. Students are well prepared for the professional life they meet later.

One of the more than 300 students who passed through Chalmers car projects is Fredrik Dunert. He studied both the Formula Student course and attended the ECO Marathon. After the education, he got a job at AVL where he has been working with engine calibration for several years. Today, he is working to help clients with organization and methodology related to testing. He sees the experiences of the car projects as very valuable. To realize his ideas and theoretical knowledge in practice is invaluable, he believes.

"To first put the nose in the theory book and then grasp the wrench and solve the problem is always appreciated by an employer," says Fredrik Dunert.

Read more about Chalmers Formula Student

Published: Fri 22 Sep 2017.