Formula Hybrid volunteers often wear many hats and have the option to engage in one or multiple volunteer roles described below.
Pre-Event Electrical Reviewers (PEER)
Pre-Event Electrical Reviewers help out a team of student engineers by performing a review of the team’s electrical system prior to the competition, typically held in late April to early May. Electrical tech reviews will begin at least 3 weeks before the competition and will be conducted at the team’s home institution. Volunteers, such as IEEE society members or team mentors, will perform the inspections while communicating with experienced electrical technical inspectors.
The PEER program was initiated in 2015 in an effort to improve the percentage of student-built race vehicles that arrive at the competition ready to pass the safety inspections.
Resources for PEER Reviewers:
Formula Hybrid Pre-Event Electrical Review Guide – R4
2019-Electrical Tech Inspection Form (PDF)
Insulation Monitoring Device (IMD) Tester Information
Team Document Uploads Page
All Formula Hybrid teams must pass both sections of the tech inspection before being allowed to participate in any dynamic events. Therefore, a number of qualified technical inspectors are needed to help move teams through tech inspection in a timely manner.
Formula Hybrid has two categories of technical inspector: mechanical and electrical. The mechanical and electrical portions of the tech inspection occur at separate locations under the direction of the chief mechanical and chief electrical inspectors, respectively. Most mechanical inspectors have an automotive, mechanical, structural background with racing and/or scruitineering experience in SCCA, FSAE, or similar organizations. The electrical inspectors generally have a high-power electrical background in automotive or hybrid drive systems often with a racing background as well.
2018 Electrical Tech Inspectors
Design judges evaluate the engineering design of student vehicles on the basis of several criteria: safety, innovation, reliability, serviceability, as well as ease of manufacturing and assembly.
Prior to the competition, the chief design judge will forward copies of the student design reports to the design judges so they have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the vehicles and design concepts.
The design judges work in teams evaluating a group of entered vehicles. The chief design judge is responsible for assigning individual judges to a team based on technical expertise and potential conflicts of interest. No one judge is expected to be technically qualified in all the disciplines represented in a typical Formula Hybrid vehicle, and may opt out of any particular aspect of the judging without penalty to the team. In addition, most judges will quiz the team member(s) on their understanding of the system(s) that they may have been responsible for designing. First-round judging may take from twenty minutes to an hour per vehicle.
Each team of design judges will then select a number of vehicles from their group to be included in the design finals. All the design judges will then participate in the selection of the top-placing cars.
Design event criteria are outlined in the Formula Hybrid rules.
The presentation event is conducted boardroom style with the students delivering a formal presentation in front of a review panel. The objective of the presentation event is to evaluate the team’s ability to structure and execute a project management plan that meets the team’s goals. Teams must convince a review board that the team’s project has been carefully planned, effectively and dynamically executed. This event requires participants to consider wider communication, planning and team management principles critical to career success as well as an understanding of financial, ethical, societal and global issues, beyond the usual technical competencies.
The presentation lasts ten minutes, followed by five minutes of question and answer. There are usually two teams of presentation judges, as assigned by the chief presentation judge.
Presentation event criteria are outlined in the Formula Hybrid rules.
A team mentor will be assigned one to three teams to coach during the months leading up to the competition. This can be done periodically by email or phone, though one or two site visits would be ideal.
The purpose of the mentor is to monitor the team’s progress, and to help the team arrive at the competition with a completed, road-worthy vehicle that is ready to pass technical inspection. The ideal person for this position would be a Formula Hybrid alumnus and a working engineer at an auto company. However, any technical experts willing to mentor a team are welcome.
A team mentor may not pass judgment on the legality of any aspect of the vehicle, but can offer advice and may encourage the team to submit questions to the Formula Hybrid support page for an official response. Mentors must also comply with the Formula Hybrid rules for advisors regarding level of involvement.
Mentor Volunteer Guidelines
The Formula Hybrid Competition is the most challenging and complex of all the SAE CDS competitions, and the electrical drive systems in these vehicles present unique hazards. One consequence of this is that a significant number of teams never pass our technical safety inspection. Over the last six years, an average of only 62% of the teams that arrived in New Hampshire made it through the safety inspection. To help address this problem, Formula Hybrid has initiated the Team Mentor Program.
A team mentor is an expert in the field of automotive engineering who is willing to spend about a half-hour a week to positively influence the next generation of engineers. Mentors are assigned to one or two teams to coach during the months leading up to the competition, monitoring progress and assisting teams with technical advice. The ideal person for this position would be a Formula Hybrid alumnus and a working engineer at an auto company. However, any technical experts willing to mentor a team are more than welcome.
Duties of mentors typically begin in the fall and continue through to the spring competition. The exact start date depends upon when a team’s application is received. Mentors check in with teams regularly, either via phone, email, or video conferencing. One or two site visits would be ideal. Communication methods are dependent upon the agreement of mentors and teams.
A team mentor may not pass judgment on the legality of any aspect of the vehicle, but can offer advice and should encourage teams to submit questions to the Formula Hybrid support page for an official response. Mentors must also comply with Formula Hybrid rule (PDF) A6.3.3 regarding level of involvement in the design and/or construction of the vehicle.
A mentor’s purpose is to help the team arrive at the event with a completed, road-worthy vehicle that is ready to pass technical inspection. Considering the time and energy that students put into vehicle projects, it is a large disappointment when teams are unable to compete. Team mentors provide an added opportunity for students to ask questions and receive technical advice and encouragement.
Mentors have the opportunity to form working relationships with teams, and thus provide a talent acquisition advantage to sponsors, who devote valuable resources to Formula Hybrid with this significant goal in mind. Due to the recruiting benefit, platinum sponsors of Formula Hybrid will be given priority status for mentor positions. By providing a team mentor, sponsors will gain access to a student’s character, body of knowledge, teamwork skills, and their ability to solve real-world problems.
Team mentors significantly impact the lives of engineering students by sharing their knowledge and expertise. This volunteer position provides an invaluable service to Formula Hybrid and its members.
School Day Guides
School Day is a chance for middle and high school students to see what engineering really involves: creativity, teamwork, and solving real-world problems. Guides escort students through the facility and garages, where a designated team member will answer questions from the visitors. This event happens on the second day, during tech inspection and static events.
People with an engineering background who can answer questions from students are preferred.
Many volunteers help out simply because they agree with the philosophy of the Formula Hybrid Competition and enjoy working with enthusiastic young engineers. Others attend to recruit top-tier, multi-disciplinary engineering students into their corporations.
Corporate recruiting requires an appropriate level of sponsorship of the Formula Hybrid Competition, and the judging and mentoring positions are filled first from those sponsoring organizations.
*Our Platinum sponsors have priority in providing personnel for the Judging and Mentoring positions. Remaining slots will be filled from our volunteer pool as appropriate.
For technical volunteer opportunities, contact: