Formula Electric Belgium consists out of 15 engineering postgraduate students from KU Leuven and Thomas More. Each year, they fully commit themselves to the design and development of their electric race car. The team is reinforced by 14 thesis students that perform the necessary research and develop innovative technologies. These can be implemented in the same year or in the near future. In total, the team consists out of 31 driven students to finish this impressive project successfully.
In order to realize the different parts of the car, the team is divided into three departments; Electronics, Mechanics and Marketing. Next to that, the R&D researches new, innovating technologies that can be implemented in this car or future cars.
In all departments, the different team members interact with partners. The close collaboration with partners and the complexity of the project forms the ideal experience for their future careers. Next to technical knowledge, they also develop their organizational and commercial skills. It should not be surprising that more than 50% of our alumni are employed by different partners.
Wouter De Man
Robbe Van Gestel
Kobe Van Doren
Alec De Keyser
Hugo De Jong
Mission & Vision
Green innovation meets performance
Our goal each year is to develop new technological innovations, build together with our partners. These innovations we show by participating in the international competitions organized by Formula Student.
Our mission is to provide new innovations each year that contribute towards a greener future, whilst being more and more performant.
Together with our mission, we carry with us the following 6 fundamental values at all time.
Our vision is simple: we need to take steps towards the future. The automotive industry is responsible for over a quarter of all greenhouse gases in Europe. This astonishing number does not include the manufacturing of these cars. We, at Formula Electric Belgium, think that on a technical level there is room for improvement.
We therefore search for new technologies. An example of such a field of improvement is improving efficiency, either direct or indirect. A direct improvement is using electromotors with higher performance than a fuel-powered motor. Decreasing the weight of the batteries is an example of indirect reduction.
To formulate our vision in one sentence, ‘Creating innovative change by working together, to better our world”.
Our year & Formula Student
Our year can be divided into three main phases: Design, build and race. During the design, we finalize the concepts and decide on the innovations for the coming year. After all concepts are validated, the building phase starts. This phase signifies the implementation of the concepts. After the building is completed, we thoroughly test the car on the predefined requirements. During the summer months (July-August) we go racing in the Formula Student competitions.
Formula Student is Europe’s most prestigious design competition for students. It is a platform for the next generation of world-class engineers. The goal of the competition is to make real innovating and enterprising engineers out of young students.
Formula Student challenges university teams worldwide to design and build their own car in only nine months. The performance of the car and the quality of the team get evaluated during static and dynamic events. To complete this mission successfully, the team must work together and think of creative solutions for the problems given by the judges. An additional difficulty is completing the whole project within a certain budget and time.
... is a quality engineering project which is greatly appreciated by universities and companies. It is an important addition to the curriculum of the student.
... is considered by the industry as the ideal opportunity to meet engineering students during
their transition from the university to the commercial workplace.
... is the paragon of real-world experience.
A Formula Student event is not only a race against the clock where the first one to cross the finish line is the winner. During several days the teams are subjected to different tests. A team can set its goal for a sublime result for one of the tests or go for the best all-round result. The events are divided up into two categories: static and dynamic events. All participating teams can join in the static events. To compete in the dynamic events, the teams must qualify during a very strict safety check called ‘scrutineering’.
A competition is made up of the following events:
Design: Students clarify to a group of judges the specific choice for used materials, different components and the self-developed systems. A strong focus is put on how the design fills in the specific market needs.
Business plan presentation: The teams present their business plan for an assumed manufacturer represented by the judges. With this business plan, they want to convince them to invest in your business plan. The content, structure, organization and performance of the presentation are judged.
Cost and Sustainability: For this event, the team must make an accurate calculation of the total cost of their race vehicle. An entire BOM of the car must be made and each team needs to clarify what investments were made and which added value this gives to the car. Additionally, they must show that sustainability has been taken into consideration when choosing the components.
Skid Pad: The self-built cars drive on a track in the shape of an eight. The cars demonstrate with a fast lap how much lateral acceleration they can generate.
Acceleration: This event focuses on the performance of the powertrain and the capability of the suspension to result in the highest possible tire grip. The result of this test is the time needed to accelerate from standstill to 75m.
Autocross: Here the driving dynamics and handling qualities of the race car are being tested on a course of about one kilometre through straights and curves.
Endurance: Over a distance of 22 kilometres the cars must prove their durability under long-term conditions. Acceleration, speed, handling, dynamics, efficiency, reliability... the cars must prove it all.
Formula Electric Belgium creates a network of students, companies and research institutions. At this moment, the team is connected to a network of more than 130 supporting companies, partners and industrial contacts. This network will be deployed further in view of innovative opportunities and the development of a synergy between education and industry on one hand and between the partners on the other.
Each form of communication of Formula Electric Belgium, be it through digital and social media, events and exhibitions, always refers to the relation with its partners. Furthermore, press releases are being sent at regular times in order to report over the status of the project. Each form of communication is always adapted to the target public.
After successfully building 11 electric cars, our team is open for a new challenge. Every year we push ourselves for new innovations. We will focus our strengths on the following innovations: Building our own motors and optimizing the communication with the drives, integrating the motor into the in-wheel, introducing semi-active suspension, changing the aero packet for optimal use of ground-effect and reducing weight.
Next to building a new electric car, we will devote ourselves to the development of a fully autonomous car. This means that in the year 2020 we will have two cars. The help of 9 master students will boost the competitiveness of our autonomous car, by researching innovative technologies.
This autonomous vehicle will be able to detect the circuit and calculate the optimal path to take. To ensure an optimal detection of the circuit, a laser detector and camera detector are placed in communication.
Due to the recent rule changes of Formula Student, we will be able to optimize the ground-effect by changing the aero packet. The wings and diffuser will be positioned and designed in such a way, that the airflow is in an optimal balance between cooling and downforce.
Introducing semi-active suspension will give us a leading edge by being able to detect and adjust to our environment. The damper on the suspension can be adjusted depending on the surface hardness, weather conditions and many more factors. In the future, we will aim to have a suspension that will self-adapt by reading the surface that is ahead of the car.
As we are a racing team, weight saving is always an objective. We will try to do this by slimming the main body, monocoque, whilst keeping it equally stiff. The stiffness is needed for the optimal functioning of the suspension.
We at Formula Student Belgium believe that there is no limit to innovation, the future will always contain more innovative technologies.
As part of Postgraduate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for engineers of the KU Leuven, which is offered at campuses all over Flanders, engineering students learn how to work with the industry in a professional way and they get to know the entrepreneurship world. These students form their own personal education program in pursuit of their own interests and focus on the development of innovative and personal competencies. Not only technical disciplines but also the broader disciplines and soft-skills are gained. Moreover, they choose an innovative project which forms the core of their postgraduate.
Formula Electric Belgium is one of these innovation projects in which the team members work independently during a whole year. The success of the project depends fully on the commitment and the dedication of the students. Formula Electric Belgium shows a lot of similarities with a technologic start-up. The members have the responsibility to create structure, make sure the project gets the necessary financial support and monitor every aspect of the start-up.
The team consist out of master students Engineering Technology from Campus Group T Leuven and KU Leuven technology Campus De Nayer. A team of bachelor students Car Technique, Electronics ICT and Design & Production Technology of the Thomas More University College take care of the production for different parts of our car. For both these groups, ‘Innovating Entrepreneurship’ is the central theme.
We are cocreator and member of Technovation Hub.
Technovation Hub is a non-profit organization that assembles innovative and high-tech student projects, like Formula Electric Belgium and brings support by assisting them and offering advice. The members in the Technovation Hub are enthusiast engineering students, researchers and companies.
The support offered by Technovation Hub is mainly on a financial, juridical, administrative, safety and health level. This service can be realized with a collaboration between enterprises and educational partners. Examples of what Technovation Hub offers is the interest-free lending of financial assets and offering free juridical advice.
Besides, Technovation Hub is a forum for student projects, higher education and the work field. Due to the project-crossing behaviour and sustainable cooperation, a large network of industrial partners and likeminded people are created. Technovation Hub’s biggest asset is to tackle entrepreneur matters together.
The combination of bespoke service and a strong network provides an environment in which engineering students really can start as entrepreneurs.
Technovation Hub was founded with the help of KU Leuven.
Formula Electric Belgium is an independent project in which engineering students from KU Leuven and Thomas More participate in the Formula Student competition. This will be conducted in the context of a Postgraduate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in engineering. The support of partners is needed to collectively achieve the team’s goal.
Formula Electric Belgium searches for utmost needed financial and material sponsorships. This kind of support is needed for the purchase of critical components, the assembly of the car, organization within the team and the registration of the different competitions. The material support will be converted to its resale value which can be categorized and compared to financial support.
The relation with our partners means more than only a financial resource. As a partner, you will be an associate within this project. Our success will be your success!
Formula Electric Belgium works with different partner levels. There is a specific return which is offered per level. A difference is made between financial support and material support. If a company is willing to give us more financial support than the highest level, that specific return can be subject of discussion
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