Though technically complex and organisationally challenging, more than anything, the development of a vehicle means team work. This is something experienced not only by the professional developers at EDAG Engineering GmbH in their day-to-day work, but also by the Formula Student teams, who plan, develop and construct their own racing cars, and then drive them in racing events. Every year, EDAG presents the "EDAG Integration Excellence Award" in recognition of the quality of the engineering competence employed by these students.
The Global Racing Team Ravensburg took first place in the final round of EDAG's "Integration Excellence Award 2016" held in Fulda on 26th November, 2016. In the contest against the other four finalists from the universities of Berlin, Deggendorf, Stuttgart and Weingarten, the young team from Baden-Württemberg came out top, winning the first prize of € 3,000. 2nd place and a prize of € 2,000 went to the "Formula Student-Team Weingarten" from Ravensburg; and the FaSTUBBe team (Berlin) finished 3rd, taking a prize of € 1,000.
"The Formula Student competition calls for precisely those qualities which, as an engineering company, we need in our day-to-day project work. Developing, integrating and implementing technical concepts and innovations within prescribed time limits," expounded Michael Schmidt, a project manager in EDAG's Vehicle Development division. "This award is our way of rewarding the dedication of the teams who take part in the Formula Student in addition to their regular student commitments."
Over 15 Formula Student teams applied to take part in the EDAG contest. At the end, the best five teams were then invited to EDAG's Fulda branch, where they were asked to present their concepts and solutions to EDAG's multi-disciplinary jury. "We were particularly interested to see how the teams integrated their technical innovations and what advantages they generated for their vehicles in the process," explained Daniel Richter, Simulation team leader and jury member. "Apart from technical requirements, further assessment criteria taken into account by the jury were project management qualities and the professionalism of the contestants' presentations."
Each team had 45 minutes in which to convince the jury of their concept. Besides appearing before the judges, the teams also had the opportunity during their visit to the EDAG site in Fulda to talk to managers from all fields of vehicle development, and to hear at first hand more about the practical side of starting out on a new career from young graduate EDAG employees. The event also featured presentations by experienced EDAG engineers, who reported on the work carried out in their divisions. Parallel to this, the finalists were also able to test drive electric vehicles and find out more about career openings at EDAG.
It was a very close contest, but in the end the jury's decision was clear: "More than any other team, it was the work of the team from Lake Constance that captured the essence of the award. Namely: to demonstrate outstanding ability in the integration of a technical innovation in a vehicle concept while at the same time exhibiting first class project management skills," said Michael Schmidt, summing up the jury's decision.
All in all, the EDAG jury was deeply impressed by the level of performance of the five finalists. EDAG will be presenting the Integration Excellence Awards again next year, to give the Formula Student teams a training ground in which they can demonstrate their skills in networking technical developments and project management.