Scanning in the fast lane: Leica ScanStation helps students compete in Formula SAE

Leica Geosystems recently collaborated with a Formula SAE race team, UPM RACING, to hold a series of measurements for the different components of the vehicle (engine, chassis, wheels, etc.) to achieve the best possible structural and design performance.

SAEcar2Our sponsorship consisted of providing the hardware device, a Leica ScanStation P40, a software package with 3D Reshaper for analysing data, and Leica Cyclone for cleaning and integrating the different laser scanner images. The result was a sleek and sturdy design.

The team was made up of 50 students from the Industrial Engineering Technical University of Madrid and University Institute for Automobile Research’s master’s degree in automobile design. Students from the Aerospace Engineering Technical University took part in the project as well. The team was advised by a wide group of professors with a great knowledge in the fields concerning a Formula SAE construction.

A winning course

The competition  helped the student’s:

  • improve their personal abilities, such as teamwork and taking responsibilities;
  • boost their critical thinking skills to quickly and efficiently solve problems;
  • challenge them professionally; and
  • test their progress competing against the most prestigious universities in the world.

“UPM Racing is our home, a dream, a challenge for the courage. UPM Racing is the perfect training to enter the job market with success guaranteed,” said David Alcántara of UPM Racing. “But, apart from the education and professional skills, it helps us develop. UPM Racing is also a racing team that allows us to live our passion… Because, after all, UPM Racing is motor engineering.”

Formula SAE is a competition born in the United States in 1982 supported by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The main purpose is to get young engineers to design, build and set up an open-wheel prototype. During the competition, not only technical skills are tested but also abilities such as marketing, costs and performance through different tests and a 22 km endurance race.



Rodrigo Garcia Roldán is a HDS product manager at Leica Geosystems Spain. He is a trained surveying engineer, receiving his degree from Polytechnic University of Madrid.

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