Closure of DHBW & OSU
At both universities, teaching activities were temporarily suspended completely before the end of the semester. At the DHBW it was on the 12th of March, then OSU followed on 28th of March.
This was accompanied by the complete closure of our premises a short time later, which we were allowed to use under certain conditions. Even though we were disappointed about the closure of the shops at the beginning, we agree that this was the only socially acceptable and reasonable way to counteract the spread of the pandemic, which was becoming more and more widespread at that time.
Although we support and continue to respect the decision of our universities, the closure of our premises posed a major problem.
Nearly all parts of the vehicle were manufactured, work on the chassis at the OSU was progressing, and yet suddenly and unexpectedly all work had to be stopped. Since at this point in time we had to assume that some normal events would take place, there was great concern about a finished, ready to drive car.
Since the team has always relied heavily on the use of online collaboration tools due to the 2 locations, this made it easier for us to continue working on theoretical topics such as Business Presentation, Cost-Report and Pre-Development even during the lockdown. In particular, we worked on test concepts that will be executed as soon as a complete car is available and we can meet again for testing with a clear conscience and without health risks. Despite the online activity we unfortunately still could not complete a car. But here too we can come up with some positive news: We are looking forward to the 2021 season! Not only with one, but with the 2 cars under construction we are planning on participating at FSS (Formula Student Spain) and FSG (Formula Student Germany) as usual. We don’t want to miss FSAE California either and are planning on being represented by our American team. We are already looking forward to the events and can hardly wait to resume the physical work on the car. We will use the time gained by this decision to test our cars to their fullest extent and to repair possible weak points.
From the 22nd of March onwards, the sad news about the cancellation of the competitions slowly began to arrive.
FSG at Hockenheimring, FSS at the Circuit de Barcelona and FSAE California were cancelled. As sad as that news was, it was expected in the current situation. This news took a big worry off our shoulders: We don’t even get into the position of having to choose between common sense and the risk of infection to have a car ready to drive at an event.
Even if not approved or rejected by our team, we still managed to achieve success in the virtual version of FSAE California, where the static disciplines (Design, Cost, BP) were presented:
The team proudly won the Siemens “Digital Twin Engineering Excellence Award” for our standardized CAD model and the “MacLean-Fogg Fastening Challenge Award” for our methods of attaching the aero elements.
Continuation of physical work
During our many online meetings, the resumption of the work on the car was discussed, planned and eagerly awaited. And as with the closure of the campus, the DHBW was first as well. In the last few weeks we were allowed to enter our workshop under strictest conditions. So we were able to do at least some small, but nevertheless important work. Even though it is still a long way from normal work, we are confident that we will soon be able to work on the car again.
There is good news from OSU as well. The students are allowed to enter the shop a couple of days each week, so that they could continue with the manufacturing of the remaining parts, such as the chassis. DHBW allowed their students to continue the physical work in the shop as well.
Even though the current situation was sad, discouraging and even overwhelming for many, it can hardly be compared with the current situation that many people are facing at the moment: It is hardly an exaggeration to say that many people and companies are currently struggling to survive in the face of the ruins of their existence.
Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to once again express our gratitude to supporters and sponsors.
Whether a small, local company or a large, internationally operating one: Without you, our team and our ventures would never have worked. In times like these even less so than usual. We are pleased and honored to count you among our supporters.