"The flying classroom"
Schaeffler supports Formula Student university project
And this has been the case since the 2001 season. That's when the Schaeffler brand LuK began supporting this successful project for new generations of engineers. The sponsoring activities of all brands were combined under the Schaeffler Group brand in 2006. 2006 is also the first year the German version of Formula Student took place. The Formula Student competition began in 1981 in the USA and came to Europe via the UK in 1999. The design competition has now enjoyed success all over the world. "In Germany, there were over 200 applications for 78 starting places", explains Johannes Arneth, project manager of the Mainfranken Team. "This means that the places allocated online were all gone within six to eight hours!".
The 200-page rule book is identical for all competitions worldwide. The most important key data for the vehicle are: single seat car, an engine with maximum 610 cm³ capacity with a 20 mm air restrictor and a minimum wheel base of 1,525 millimeters.
"The main focus of Formula Student is the project work", explains Karin Goerl. "The teams must work together to generate ideas for the vehicle concept, development and implementation as well as for sponsoring, marketing, and the race itself. This means that Formula Student is more of an integral practical exercise for a team than a school for racing drivers." Several parameters are included in the assessment of the teams' performance. The static events include cost analysis, business plan and design. Acceleration, skidpan, autocross, fuel economy and endurance all play a role as far as the dynamic events are concerned.
The moment of truth will come for the German students at the beginning of August. The 78 teams of finalists will be competing against each other in Hockenheim from August 5 to 9. "This is a great opportunity for not only for us but also for other companies to talk to potential future employees".
Promoting recruitment and training is very important to the Schaeffler Group. Along with supporting various university teams competing in the Formula Student competition, students are part of day-to-day operations since they have the opportunity to complete internships and write dissertations at the company. Schaeffler supported over 650 students in Germany alone in this way in 2008. Vocational training also plays an important role alongside the close links with numerous colleges and universities. As a leading manufacturer of rolling bearings and renowned supplier to the automobile industry, Schaeffler provided vocational training for nearly 3000 trainees this year. 1,200 of these trainees are working and receiving training in ten different vocations at the German locations of INA, FAG, and LuK. The Schaeffler Group employs around 66,000 people worldwide and, with over 1,200 patent applications each year in Germany, it is one of the leading companies in terms of innovation.