Welcome to the home of Global Formula Racing! GFR is an international collaboration between the BA Racing Team from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg (DHBW-R), Germany, and the Beaver Racing Team from Oregon State University (OSU). This unique global venture promises to build upon the team’s past success and propel development into future seasons.
Global Formula Racing is the first global student collaboration of its kind in the history of both the US-based Formula SAE and EU-based Formula Student programs. The former BA Racing Team from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg (DHBW-R), Germany, and the Beaver Racing Team from Oregon State University (OSU) combined forces in 2010 to compete as a single entity. The two universities share physical and intellectual resources through the use of advanced communications technology to create a highly competitive vehicle worthy of international recognition.
Design, manufacturing, and testing occur simultaneously at both schools. The collaboratively developed GFR 2014 design will be used to manufacture a combustion car at the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon, USA and a fully electric car at the DHBW-R campus in Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The combustion car will compete in USA events, as well as Formula Student events across Europe. GFR's electric car will stay in Europe to participate in Formula Student competitions only.
This spring five students from DHBW have the chance to support the American side of the team at Oregon State University (OSU). These five students will all be spending an entire term at OSU. This is a great example of international teamwork for GFR which will strengthen the team spirit and cohesion. One of these five students is Levke, who is in the following going to talk about the experiences she made at OSU.
Did you settle well in the US?
Yes, I did. The US are basically not so much different from Germany. Corvallis is about the size of town as Friedrichshafen, but there are more students. It’s very green here and especially beautiful in spring. Moreover it really helped that I already knew some team members before I arrived at OSU.
What are your tasks for the Global Formula Racing team at OSU?
My project during my stay here at OSU is to improve the carbon fiber laboratory and the documentation of the work with composite materials. Therefore I am going to take a look at the organization, tidiness and work processes in the lab and write manuals on how to create parts with the composite materials. Moreover I support the other subteams for example with the eCar – Shipment or the event planning.
Are there differences between the German and the American side of the team?
Of course the American part of the team is different in many aspects. First of all the OSU hasmore than 30.000 students whereas the DHBW is a lot smaller. A lot of students are staying at OSU for a longer time to do their master or to upgrade their studies in another way. Due to that there are team members that are part of Formula Student for about seven years. That creates an enormous amount of knowledge. A big difference is also that at DHBWthe students are not present during the entire year, but just during the theory terms a few months each time. Presence time at the DHBW is in total about half of the length of the study, which is always, no matter the exact field of study, limited to three years.
Another difference is that the competition in Michigan is a lot earlier in the year than the Formula Student competitions in Germany and Austria. That also means that the preparation at OSU starts sooner. The car is already driving whereas at the same time in Germany the assembly hasn’t even started.
But of course both sides of the GFR share motivation, engagement and passion for motor sport. That passion is what drives students here at OSU and at the DHBW to give their very best. On the American side our exchange students and the rest of the team are fully occupied preparing the SAE Competition in Michigan and the shipment of the chassis to Germany.
Thank you Levke for finding the time for this little interview!
We wish you all the best of luck for the competition! GO GFR!