Management of Technology Innovation
Formula One automobiles -- Design and construction, Project management, Engineering -- Management, Technological innovations
Formula SAE is an international student design competition in which participants build a racing vehicle. While commonly mistaken as simply an engineering design competition, FSAE encompasses various aspects of business: engineering, management, sponsorships, and new product development through innovative thinking.
Innovation within FSAE groups, specifically how FSAE members approach innovation and the challenges presented when attempting to innovate, is a little-studied topic. Most teams do not consider these challenges while designing and building their competitive vehicle. Ignoring these challenges can be detrimental to the team as a whole and can greatly slow their overall progress.
The following paper is presented as a case study on innovation within Portland State University’s FSAE team, Viking Motorsports. To complete the case study, four persons relating to the team were interviewed with a set of questions relating to innovation as applied to Viking Motorsports. Team members and faculty advisors were interviewed to get a wider range of insight into the structure of innovation within the team. The goal was to obtain a general picture of how innovation is handled within the team.
Based on the responses of those interviewed, the general consensus is that knowledge transfer to new members is a large challenge that has not been addressed in previous years, and this is one of the main setbacks to innovation within the team. Additionally, active innovation management is loosely defined within the team; no firm structure is in place to manage ideas and set them into motion. However, Viking Motorsports does handle the influx of new ideas in an effective manner: all ideas are considered, even if not used. This result stems from the constant changes to design rules and the yearly redesign of the competitive vehicle.
Buczkowski, Pawel, "Innovation in Formula SAE Teams as Applied to Viking Motorsports: A Case Study" (2018). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 2238.