The University of Western Australia's Motorsport team has been crowned the 2008 World Champions for Formula SAE, having won the international competition for a student designed race car.
The 12-strong team, all UWA students, edged out German teams from the University of Stuttgart and the Technical University of Munich, and more than 100 other teams from around the world, to win the competition held in the US city of Michigan in May.
The Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Championship offers engineering students all over the world the chance to conceive, design, fabricate and race an open-wheel race car. Cars are built in a year by a team of up to 60 students. The UWA team raced in their seventh car this year and are on the way to building the eighth.
The Formula SAE competition tests vehicles in a range of events including fuel economy and endurance racing and rates the teams on their capacity to plan, finance and market their project to a board of investors.
The UWA Motorsport Team won the Australasian Formula SAE Championships in December 2007, entitling them to compete in the FISITA Formula SAE World Cup at the Michigan International Speedway.
Professor Mark Bush, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, said the team had an excellent track record at international level.
"The Motorsport team has won a huge number of engineering awards and has placed first or second in lead-up competitions over the past three years," he said.
"Students involved in the project demonstrate extraordinary skills in teamwork, management and leadership, technology, design and analysis, financial management, health and safety and marketing. There is no doubt the Motorsport project and others available to UWA students ensure that our graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for employment as engineers and managers and are highly sought after by employers."
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson congratulated UWA Motorsport for winning in such a strong international field.
"This is an outstanding achievement for our students and The University of Western Australia and a testament to our commitment to quality and performance in all areas of research and education," Professor Robson said.
"It's been a few years in the making, and a couple of times we've come really close," said UWA Motorsport project manager and UWA engineering student Gurkaran Bansal. "We really hope everyone involved with UWA Motorsport over the years feels they contributed to this success."