Aston Racing - My Experience
We spoke to Formula Student Leader Sherjit...
Every year a student engineering competition is held at the Silverstone Circuit, where engineers come together from around the world to design, build, test, and race a small-scale formula-style racing car. Aston Racing is now in its ninth year of competing at Formula Student and each year has seen improvements in both the technology and results achieved by the team made up of keen and enthusiastic Engineering students.
What made you choose Aston University and your course?
I chose Aston as the CDIO module sounded unique to what other universities offer! CDIO is the practical element of the course where you have to Concieve, Design, Implement and Operate with a team to make a object (wind turbine, electric kart etc) - It helps you take what you’ve learned in the lectures and put it into practice.
Living in Birmingham and knowing I would be close to home helped too!
What were the highlights of your course?
The CDIO we did in the first and second years. I was able to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in lectures and tutorials into practice, making me work-ready for my placement at GE Aviation where I worked on the electrical hardware for the new Boeing 777X, This gave me an competitive advantage over other students.
Would you recommend your course?
Absolutely! It is tough but what engineering course isn’t? The academics always push you to do better and help you when you need it.
Here at Aston, we have a Learning Development Centre where you can get help on the theoretical things you are stuck on. The maths academics are very helpful and explain things very well. The technicians in the workshops are brilliant for helping you with more practical elements and always give advice on the best way to get an object designed for manufacture
What has been the best part of Formula Student for you?
Definitely driving the Formula Student car at the competition! Going to Silverstone! Being on the circuit as part of a team and not a spectator is completely different and not many people can say that, driving around on part of an actual F1 track was something I’ll never forget, especially in a car I helped to build using knowledge from my course.
What are the main things you will take from the Formula Student experience?
The camaraderie is one thing that I’ll never forget, the team gets closer throughout the year so by the end you will understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, resulting in you working better together. Everyone wants to win but I found the competitors very friendly, we all helped each other when needed– I remember in 2021 we needed a spare part for our car and a team that was unable to compete for that day ended up giving us the whole assembly which helped us massively.
What skills have you gained from Formula Student?
The problem-solving skills I’ve gained and the real-life engineering knowledge really stood out for me. You don’t really know how a part will work unless you design and test it properly and even then there are a million other things that it can affect which you don’t think about in your projects. Working in Formula Student is genuinely how things are done in real life and it gives you a head start to what working as an Engineer would be like.
How do you plan to use your experience and course in the future?
My aim is to join the motorsport or automotive sector. Formula Student has been a big help in knowing how these sectors work, the course has given me so much knowledge about engineering and it has prepared me for what future projects may bring.
What advice would you give to students who want to study Engineering at Aston?
Get stuck in! If you want to do well in engineering you have to stand out – it’s a competitive field so anything that helps you stand out will be a massive help, whether that be Formula Student, CAD Society or just being a MATLAB wizard, it all makes a difference.