Design, Innovate, and Race: Formula SAE Michigan

This year 120 teams gathered in Brooklyn, Michigan to participate in the Formula SAE® competition. Together, members of each dedicated team design, build, and test a small, Formula-style competition vehicle. In just four days, a year worth of laborious preparation is put to the test, and it’s a rigorous one. Each vehicle is scored in static and dynamic events including: technical inspection, cost, presentation, engineering design, solo performance trials, and high performance track endurance. Altair is a proud sponsor of this collegiate design competition, and has been for more than ten years.


In addition to sponsoring the FSAE competition each year, Altair University is pleased to offer individual sponsorships to Formula SAE teams. The sponsorship includes complimentary licenses of HyperWorks, the industry leading CAE analysis and optimization software. HyperWorks is used worldwide by the automotive engineering community and is ideal for helping students turn light weight design concepts into fully functioning Formula style prototypes for competition. Within the HyperWorks suite of tools, students also have access to the award winning solidThinking Inspire. Inspire enables design engineers to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily. To top off the sponsorship, the Altair University team offers real-time and self-paced training, e-books, and a dedicated support forum to help fuel the success of each team. Sponsorship is open to all college and university teams.

FSAE 022

A great deal of time and volumes of effort are invested by Formula SAE teams, year after year. At Altair, we truly value this effort and the new and innovative concepts these teams bring to the FSAE competition. We also reward this effort! Altair’s William R. Adam Engineering Excellence award is presented annually to the top two teams who demonstrate innovative concepts in vehicle design.

Northwestern University used HyperMesh on the knuckle.

Northwestern University used HyperMesh on the knuckle.

This year, we received more than twenty applications for the William R. Adam award—hats off to all of the qualified applicants! The competition was fierce with the novelty and necessity of designs reaching new heights. The William R. Adam Engineering Excellence award was presented on Friday, May 15, to Formula ETS of Montreal and TU Graz Racing Team of Austria.

IMG_1101 ETS Winner

It was Formula ETS’ risky yet novel suspension design that put the team in first place. With their innovative suspension design, Formula ETS was able to control ride and roll motions all while remaining aerodynamic and maximizing cornering performance. This novel approach also proved to warrant speed; Formula ETS placed second in the skid pad event at FSAE.

IMG_1086 TU Graz Winner

A carbon fiber monocoque chassis, along with a superb design method and manufacturing quality, won TU Graz the second place honors. The TU Graz chassis is stiffer than a conventional steel tube design and afforded 30% weight reduction.

Congratulations again to the 2015 William R. Adam award winners, Formula ETS and TU Graz, and a job well done to each of the 120 teams for their achievements and commitment to the FSAE program. The teamwork, communication, design process, and manufacturing experience that are nourished through this great program are key elements that will solidify success in the engineering community. For more information, please contact

Take a look at last year’s winners, and Student Formula SAE in Japan!