Planning and design for Formula Student: Tools and Practices

2021 Bartsiokas IoannisStudent: Ioannis Bartsiokas
Year: 2021
Affiliation: National Technical University of Athens
Level: Undergraduate
Thesis written in Greek


Title in Greek: Προγραμματισμός έργου σχεδιασμού Μονοθεσίου Formula Student: Εργαλεία και Πρακτικές


Abstract: Formula Student is a worldwide engineering competition that revolves around university student-based teams designing, analysing manufacturing and racing formula type racing vehicles. The members that constitute a team, undertake this annual project whose deliverable is a fully functional racing vehicle, compromised by the regulations imposed by the organising committee. It is deemed obvious, that project management is an integral part of a team's processes, to ensure a methodical and effective function of the team.
The goal of this thesis is to develop a functional framework for the Team Leader (Project Director) of Prom Racing, NTUA's Formula Student Team, through the creation of documentation, tools and the implementation of project management methodologies, to support their role. The analysis and the timeframe were constricted to the design phase of the year and a case study was carried out, in which the author, assumed the role of both the observer and the contributor to the project. Utilising the findings of the case study, the deliverables of this thesis where developed, which consisted of a detailed Project Plan, the vehicle's design Bill of Materials and a risk management tool based on the method of Failure Modes and Effects analysis.
This thesis presented the organisational structure of Prom Racing and developed a chart that was composed of all the necessary roles required for the team's function. Through the case study, a framework for knowledge management and transfer was developed, to ensure that there will be no knowledge and important information loss on a year-to-year basis. The Project Plan imprinted the work breakdown structure of the project, the duration and dependencies of each task and the appropriate resource allocation. Utilising these inputs, the overall programme duration was calculated using the critical path method and was compared to the initial target. Additionally, the percentage and hours of allocation for each resource were presented. By connecting the design parts with a self-developed Bill of Materials, a tool was created for monitoring the delivery process of each part and provide information about make or buy decisions and the required processes to manufacture it. Finally, based on the FMEA method a tool was developed to link system components and joints and produce a risk register which ranks the risks relevant to their RPN rating and suggest prevention and avoidance methods.
In the end, a focus group interview took place with experienced former and current technical and project leaders to assess and validate the produced models. The consensus from the focus group was that whilst the content and development methodology were received positively, the need for practical application and assessment of the effectiveness of the tools is of high importance to understand the level of contribution they can offer.

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