About Us

About Us

What do we do?

  • For more than 30 years, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has held an annual competition known as Formula SAE. The competition directive is for students to design and build a formula-style racing car, and then compete against similar race cars built by other students from all over the world. Today, over 500 teams compete world-wide.

    • A typical Formula SAE car weighs from 300 to 500 lbs, with horsepower figures ranging from 50-90 hp. Most cars can boast a 0 to 60 mph time in the 3-4 second range, lateral acceleration of up to 2.0 g and a 60 to 0 braking distance of about 115 ft.

  • SAE requires our car to be designed for the weekend autocross racer. SAE programs are directed to build a car that has excellent handling, braking, and acceleration capabilities. However, sheer performance is not the only goal. The car must also be design to be affordable, easy to maintain, and reliable. Additionally, ergonomics and aesthetics must be addressed.

  • Here at UWashington Formula Motorsports, we design, build, test and compete with two small formula-style race cars; one combustion and one electric. Everything that our club produces is done entirely in-house. We produce our own designs, perform our own machining and manufacture our own carbon fiber parts. However, we couldn’t achieve the level of success are team is known for without the help of our beloved sponsors.

Who are we?

2015 is the 27th year that the University of Washington has competed in Formula SAE. Team 27 operates under four goals:

  1. To produce world-class engineers through a commitment to learning and innovation.
  2. To justify design decisions through engineering methods and validate simulation with physical testing.
  3. To design, build, test, and tune two cars to maximize points at all events at competition.
  4. To improve future performance through thorough documentation of all technical and administrative work.

What do members gain from our program?

  • There are countless learning opportunities for members of our program; you will have the chance to gain valuable experience in design, manufacturing, testing, research, fundraising, management and more. In garnering these experiences, you will be far ahead of your academic peers in practical engineering know-how when you graduate.

  • Being a part of UW Formula Motorsports is akin to being an integral part of a small business. As a member of our program, you will be accountable for your own work. Don’t fret though, there will be plenty of help from experienced members along the way.

  • In addition to their regular course load, we encourage all of our members to register for class credit. Being a member of the Formula team allows you to earn one credit of ME 498 (pre-engineering) and 2-5 credits of ME 499, per quarter.

How successful are we?

  • In 2015, the UW Formula Motorsports team placed 6th in the design event at the Formula Student Germany Competition, marking the best design performance we ever had. However, the team placed 30th in the overall competition due to mechanical issues. The team also competed in Lincoln, landing an astonishing 2nd place in design and 13th overall due to a blown radiator fan fuse which lead to a blown valve cover gasket, forcing us to end endurance early.

  • In 2014, the team had another very successful year. In Germany, the cCar placed an impressive 6th place overall, the highest ranking to date. The electric car ended up placing 5th place overall in Lincoln.

  • In 2013, the UW Formula Motorsports Team made its 2nd appearance at the German competition. This time the UW team placed 7th overall in the Formula Student Germany competition. In addition to Germany, the UW team competed in Lincoln, Nebraska and took 1st in combustion and 2nd overall in electric.

  • In 2012, for the first time in UW Formula Motorsports history, we competed overseas in Europe for Formula Student Germany at the Hockenheimring. Formula Student Germany draws the best teams from around the world, and the opportunity to compete there marks the next step in the growth of the UW Formula Motorsports team.

  • 2012 also marked the beginning of development of an electric car. It was the first year that an electric vehicle competition ran in parallel with the combustion competition in the United States. Formula Student Germany has had an electric competition for a few years now, but now we have the opportunity to compete here in the US as well.