UH Mānoa engineering students rev up for Formula SAE competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 10, 2019

Link to video and sound:   https://bit.ly/2EXhcBx

WHAT: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa mechanical engineering students will participate in the 2019 International Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Competition, an international engineering design competition to design, build and compete a small Formula One-style vehicle.

WHEN: June 19–22, 2019 (Students leave Hawai‘i on June 16)

WHERE: Lincoln, Nebraska

WHO: A team of 10 UH Mānoa College of Engineering students (and recent graduates) will compete against 80-plus teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and Brazil.

WHY: The students work together to incorporate a budget, and apply theories from the classroom to design, build and test their vehicle.

This extracurricular STEM learning opportunity provides the students with real-world experience.


  • The engineering team’s SAE car project is one of about a dozen senior design projects for upper-level engineering students.

  • The team received an extra boost from UPS-Hawaii. The company is transporting the vehicle to and from Nebraska, worth an estimated $15,200.

  • Students begin meeting the summer before the SAE Formula competition to work on the budget, plan the design and infrastructure of the car, and create a goal timeline.

  • For the 2018–19 car project, 21 upper-level engineering students worked on the car throughout the school year.

  • Of the 21 students who worked on the project, 10 will pay for their own airfare, housing and food to make the trek to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the three-day competition. Most team members graduated from UH Mānoa in spring 2019.

  • The College of Engineering team’s participation in the 2019 Formula SAE competition will be the sixth consecutive contest for a team from UH.

  • In 2018, UH Mānoa place 14th overall out of more than 115 universities and was ranked second in efficiency and 10th for business.

VIDEO B-roll (2:00)

  • Various shots of working on car at College of Engineering (UH Manoa)

  • Various shots of road testing at Leeward Community College


Connie Young, UH Mānoa senior, project manager

(:41-:52, 11 seconds)

“The Formula SAE project is one of the dozen design projects that are offered for the mechanical engineering department. We design, build and compete a Formula One-style race car.”

A Zachary Trimble, UH Mānoa engineering professor (1:06-1:19, 13 seconds)

“The main thing is that they have a 20-millimeter restrictor, so this is about the size of a dime, and that’s the only thing that can breathe; that’s what limits their speeds. So it really becomes an optimization problem. That’s where the engineering comes in.”

Stephen Cadiz, UH Mānoa senior, team member

(1:27-1:36, 9 seconds)

“I would say you learn more stuff because you have to work with people too and you learn all those dynamics working with other engineers that you cannot learn in the classroom.”

Ronnie Soriano, UH Mānoa senior, team member

(2:19-2:28, 9 seconds) It was really  fun…we had long nights together and we were able to bond and create new friends.”