Oakland University students showcase Formula SAE racing program at Detroit Auto Show

Posted at 11:21 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 23:21:36-05

Come spring time, the Grizzlies Racing Team at Oakland University will hit the track once again in Formula SAE competition against hundreds of other colleges.

This week, team members are displaying the car they built at the North American International Auto Show and telling the story of hands on experience they're gaining while still in school.

"I love this stuffI," said Adi Kaimovic, president of the student group. "I've been a gear-head since I can remember and I love spending time, not only building this car, but also with my team." 

Twenty students currently take part in the program. It's a passion for Kaimovic and the others.

"The classroom will give you basic ideas of what's going on and basically the formula and now applying it to a vehicle you will see it's not as simple as it seems like sometimes in the classroom," he said. Kaimovic is a mechanical engineering major and hopes to work in the auto industry or with a racing team when he graduates.

Oakland University has had a long history with the SAE collegiate competition program. 

"They start with a clear sheet of paper, build a car, they get to design it, then they get to build it and they test and compete against schools from around the world," said Brian Sangeorzan, professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department at Oakland University. "It's really a fabulous competition," he said. 

Auto manufacturers and suppliers supporting the team include Chrysler, Continental and Denso among many other sponsors. 

"This is just a blast," Kaimovic said. "To be honest, this is probably the most fun you can have in your college career."