August 10, 2021

University of Glasgow Races to Formula Student Success with 3DS Support

Dassault Systèmes has a strong relationship with the University of Glasgow. The…
Avatar Clare Scott

Dassault Systèmes has a strong relationship with the University of Glasgow. The university is a member of the Living Heart Project, and 3DS has sponsored some University of Glasgow-led EU Research Projects. In addition, Dassault Systèmes provides free software licenses for any student team taking part in recognized challenges such as Formula Student with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform or SIMULIA software. Dassault Systèmes has sponsored the University of Glasgow’s UGRacing Team with free SIMULIA software since 2017. This year, the team was provided with CATIA V5, the SIMULIA Academic Research Suite (Abaqus, Isight, Tosca and fe-safe), Simpack and XFlow

Recently UGRacing Team Principal Fraser Cowie sent the following message to Dassault Systèmes in thanks for the support, and with an update on how the team did in a recent Formula Student competition. 

I hope you and the Dassault Systèmes team are keeping well. I’m writing to provide an update on how UGRacing faired at our recent Formula Student competition which took place from 22nd – 25th July at Silverstone. I’ve provided a more thorough update below, but the main takeaway is that UGRacing enjoyed its most successful year ever across the combustion, electric and driverless vehicle categories!

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your support over the last two years. As a team, we simply wouldn’t have been able to consistently achieve at such high levels, or even deliver a car on track, without your support and generosity.

To give some context regarding the competition format, in January the IMechE gave all teams the option to enter their 2019 car in this year’s competition. For UGRacing, this was never an option, as we knew the car we had designed in 2020 would be extremely competitive. Being unable to access our on-campus garage, some out of the box thinking was required: in March, we secured a lock-up space in Barrhead to carry out the majority of our build. Despite this, we were one of the few UK teams to bring a completely new, and running, car to Silverstone. To distinguish our car from teams which had brought their 2019 cars, ours was referred to as a “1st Year Vehicle”.

On to the actual competition results: our team finished 8th overall, our highest ever finish, and recorded multiple podiums! A few performances I’d like to highlight:

  • Our 3rd place finishes in the Acceleration and Sprint event, having never achieved a podium in a “Dynamic” event this was hugely encouraging for the team
  • Finishing 3rd overall in the Engineering Design event, and being crowned winners in the 1st Year Vehicle category!
  • For the second year running, winning the Racecar Engineering Engagement, Outreach and Communications Award, once again highlighting our strong social media presence and promotion of the UGRacing brand
  • Perhaps most importantly, we also regained the crown of Best Scottish Formula Student Team!


Acceleration 3rd Design 1st

Sprint 3rd Cost 18th

Skidpad 4th Business 32nd

Endurance DNF Communications 1st

Despite having a slight bias, 8th overall isn’t a wholly fair reflection of how competitive the car was on track. On the Sunday at Silverstone, the car was running perfectly in the Endurance event, until a highly unfortunate electrical issue caused us to retire the car at the half-way mark. A finish in that event would have given us an extra 200 points and secured us a place on the overall podium; however, the this set-back has kept the team keen and eager to improve on an 8th place finish next year.

Our driverless team successfully debuted their bespoke software at the competition and finished 4th in the UK! Our young team of engineers and computing scientists managed to bring the fight to the more established teams, and have given themselves a very strong foundation to build upon in the coming year. Despite never having uploaded their code to the IMechE-provided car until the first day of the competition, the team made it joint furthest round the track, tied with Edinburgh University, an incredible achievement. The focus for the team in the coming year will be increased testing and performance improvements to their software.

And finally, it was a personal highlight to present our Electric Vehicle design to a team of experienced judges. While the manufacture of the combustion vehicle was the focus in the months leading up to the competition, it has been our Electric Vehicle that our team of 98 engineers have taken from a blank page to concept in little over a year. I couldn’t be more proud to tell you that our concept finished joint 3rd (out of 65 teams competing in that category)! Evidently, we’re onto a winner, and I’ll be able to provide further updates on the progress of our Electric Vehicle in due course.

We’re very proud of our partnership with Dassault Systèmes and I very much hope we can continue this relationship into 2022 and beyond. The team’s future has never been brighter, and as we embark on a new design cycle with our sights set on a Top 5 finish, I’d just like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the entire UGRacing team for your continued support – without you, it wouldn’t be possible to be standing on the podium.

SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

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