Formula Student Competition

  Group photo of Team Ecurie Aix with two students in front each sitting in a racing car Copyright: FSG, Klein

Featuring over 500 teams, Formula Student is the world's largest student design competition. RWTH’s Ecurie Aix was founded in 1999 as the second German team. Every year, its members convert a fully electric racing car and a car from the previous year into an autonomous vehicle. Each summer, they compete in a variety of disciplines against teams from all over the world on Europe’s most famous racetracks.

 

Formula Student, now the world's largest competition for engineers, was founded in 1981 by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the US. The first European competition was held in 1998.

The aim of the competition is to design, construct, and then manufacture a single-seater formula racing car in a student team. Ultimately, it is not only the performance of the car that counts, but also dealing with economic challenges in a student initiative.

Every year, hundreds of Formula Student teams from all over the world compete against each other in various static and dynamic disciplines and face a jury of judges from industry and motor sports.

There is nothing more constant than change. The future of the automotive industry will not only be characterized by performance and driving behavior, but also by digital systems and vehicle intelligence. In keeping with its dynamic adaption to innovations and future technologies, Formula Student introduced the electric competition class in addition to the initial combustion and autonomous competition classes in 2017.

A year after the first European competition was founded, a few Aachen students got together and decided to get involved too, which led to the founding of the Ecurie Aix team in 1999. The name is derived from the former Belgian Formula 1 team “Ecurie Francorchamps” with its famous home circuit in Spa-Francorchamps, located less than an hour away from Aachen. The members kept the French word for “racing team” and added “Aix” for “Aix-la-Chapelle”, which is the French name for the city of Aachen.

In 2002, Ecurie Aix became one of the first German teams to take part in the competition with their model eac01, which stands for “ecurie aix car 1”. When the electric class was introduced in the competition in 2010, the team built two vehicles simultaneously for the first time. The combustor was thus joined by the first electric racing car. In 2017, the third competition class, autonomous vehicles, was introduced. The team had not built any combustion engines for quite some time by then, but they got to work converting an old electric vehicle into an autonomous car.

Thus far, more than 70 active team members and around 400 alumni have enjoyed the opportunity of becoming involved in this fun and varied project alongside their studies. Students can apply the knowledge acquired in their degree in a practical way, assume responsibility for the project from the beginning, and also see their own first constructions and developments turned into reality.

In the summer, they also get the chance to experience motor sports first-hand on Europe's most famous Formula 1 circuits. In addition, participants will get a special insight into sponsoring work, which can be a significant advantage for them in their later career path. Last but not least, they really find out what team work means.