2021 Formula SAE Nevada & Michigan University Competitions Were Hot!

By Leigh-Anderson

Siemens-Sponsored Teams Won Four First Places at FSAE Michigan & FSAE Nevada Events

Drafted by Siemens intern Gregory Barker

Two Formula SAE (FSAE) competitions that showcase Siemen’s STEM support included two very ‘HOT’ competitions in 2021: Formula SAE Michigan and Formula SAE Nevada. While both competitions offered hotly-competitive events, the Nevada event set records for being literally-HOT at 115 degrees air temps and 130 degree tarmac temperatures. Siemens is impressed to see these students’ triumph in the face of adversity, due to Covid and record high temperatures. Siemens is pleased to provide no-cost software grants, training and support to enable success at student competitions.

The U. of Colorado Denver team is one of many that use Siemens software tools.

The SAE Formula Student (FSAE) program is a real-world engineering design-build competition for undergraduate and graduate students. It provides teams with the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills by going far beyond classroom theories, in a challenging competition. The goal is to develop and construct a single-seat racecar with the most innovative package of design, construction, performance, and cost plus project management and presentation skill building.

The complexity of a Formula Electric car
The complexity of a student-built Formula Electric car is seen in this close-up photo. Note the 600 volt full-custom electric drivetrain, all wheel drive with in-wheel electric motors, all the custom suspension parts, plus the rear wing and other downforce aerodynamics which lets these cars corner at up to around 2 G’s, which is exotic supercar territory of cornering power.

For this year’s competition, many teams that are members of Siemens’ Academic Partner Program placed at high levels. In the FSAE Michigan competition, the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor swept the 1st positions overall in both the advanced Formula Electric class as well as the Formula Combustion class! This world-class team has relied on a wide range of Siemens engineering tools for many years.

UM first place
The champion University of Michigan Ann Arbor FSAE team at the Award Ceremony.
1st Place in both the Electric and Combustion car classes!

In the FSAE Nevada competition, Texas A&M University placed 1st, in the Formula Combustion class, with Oregon State’s Global Formula Racing team winning 1st in the advanced Formula Electric class, both teams overcoming scorching temperatures.

Oregon State’s Global Formula Racing team has placed in the top tier of Formula Student rankings worldwide for years. They are advanced users of the entire suite of SIemens software to design and simulate their extremely light, high-performance racecars.
See their video explanation about how Siemens software helps their team.

It was so hot in Las Vegas that SAE had to start the event at dawn and end at 1 pm. Metal door handles were so burning hot they had to be covered with cloth rags. A few students collapsed from heat stroke the first day; they all learned to drink a LOT of water all day in the dry desert heat. Siemens staff downed a lot of water too!

Another Siemens sponsored racecar
One of many Siemens-sponsored racecars at the FSAE events. This car from Illinois.

Siemens has partnered with SAE International before in numerous other events such as the AutoDrive Challenge and SAE Aero. Siemens, in partnership with SAE, promotes students’ career development and excellence in engineering. The FSAE competition encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, simulation, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management, and finance.

Tesla is another enthusiastic sponsor of the SAE event, bringing several demo cars to show, even the super-fast “Plaid’ model.

Siemens continues to make a positive impact for students and team year after year. This is especially true for Tanner Miller who was on the West Virginia University team at the Michigan competition. He is a graduate student working on the FSAE project at WVU.

I was first exposed to the Siemens NX CAD suite at my first internship with SpaceX in Hawthorne, California”, said Tanner. “After returning to campus, I convinced our faculty advisor to let us switch to the Siemens software suite, and we haven’t looked back! (That was in 2018). Currently we are using NX as our sole CAD software, FEA software (Nastran), Star-CCM+ for all of CFD aerodynamics analysis, Fibersim for carbon fiber composite analysis and layup orientation, and last but not least, we are currently working towards implementing TeamCenter as our product data mangement software. We are extremely thankful to Siemens and would love to extend the partnership further!“

Tanner is just one of tens of thousands of students Siemens benefiting from Siemens software solutions at student competitions worldwide. Siemens will continue supporting SAE events indefinitely to enable the innovations of these students and help develop real-world ready engineering talent for industry. Many thanks to SAE and the other sponsors.

Female engineers play key roles in nearly all FSAE teams

Get your Student Team a No-Cost Software Grant!

Student competition teams can get free student editions instantly at this site, or apply for no-cost grants of full commercial functional software packages, some of which don’t have student editions using this online form. Most FSAE teams choose the full software grants after trying out the student editions. View this insightful modular video series first. Also see this video webinar by the Oregon State team and by the McGill U. team.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at