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Texas A&M Formula SAE team brings home championship for second consecutive year
Living up to the high expectations set by their predecessors, the Texas A&M University Formula SAE team brought home the championship cup from the SAE International competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the second year in a row.

The team, composed of 22 mechanical engineering seniors, took first place in the overall competition as well as first in the endurance event and second in the autocross event.

Including the program’s latest victory, Texas A&M has now won the competition seven times. They previously won in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2017.

Project manager Spencer Weaver said the team’s accomplishments are even more impressive given that the car’s design was created and fabricated by the students from scratch in only nine months.

“We didn’t copy the team’s winning concept from last year and we didn’t bring a repeat of the previous vehicle,” Weaver said. “We built something brand new and still won. The pride I have in this team is indescribable.”

Yuval Doron, a mechanical engineering lecturer and advisor for the team, said seeing the students succeed was beyond gratifying.

Doron, who took over leadership of the program four years ago, said the program’s structure of starting fresh with all new members and a new design each year sets the team apart from its peers in the competition.

“In a nine-month endeavor they accomplish incredible feats,” he said.

Doron believes one reason for the team’s success is the university’s focus on producing great engineers.

“Where other teams build race cars, at A&M we produce engineers that can produce a race car,” he said. “But first and foremost we produce engineers. We use the racecar as a medium to teach engineering, not as a focal point of what we do. That is the distinction.”

For Weaver and the majority of his teammates who graduated in May, the SAE competition served as a triumphant conclusion to their undergraduate careers. With the program now complete, team members are able to walk away from their educational experiences at Texas A&M with a broad range of applicable knowledge and hands-on skills preparing them for their entrance into industry.

“All of us have grown and matured through our education,” said Weaver, who will begin working for General Motors this summer. “It gives me a lot of confidence about myself and my teammates going into industry that we’re not just going to go out there and be another engineer that gets stuck on small projects. We’re all going to go out there and do something that’s recognizable.”