The regulation for success

If it was their plan, it worked out well: in 1997, a Liu family named their baby child Fan, that roughly translates as “regular”. The dual teachers from a coastal city of Qinhuangdao – where a Great Wall juts into a sea – had dual reasons for selecting this name. One, it voiced their wish that their son would suffer a normal and untroubled childhood, and two, it had philosophical implications, evoking a sign of a country’s former leader, Deng Xiaoping, that was to “hide your strength”.

Talented engineer: Liu Fan had detected his passion for electric engines by a age of eight.

Talented engineer: Liu Fan already detected his passion for electric engines by a age of eight.

For Liu Fan – in China a family name is pronounced initial – a sign was a glorious fit. He upheld a perfectionist tests compulsory for university acknowledgment and was supposed into a champions’ joining for budding engineers, earning a mark during a prestigious Tongji University in Shanghai.

About to graduate, Liu fan has won countless awards during his studies, and he captained a university’s organisation to feat in a fiercely contested electric Formula Student competition. In this innovation-based contest, students pattern and expostulate all-electric Formula racing cars. Liu Fan led a winning organisation of abour 100 students, with support from Porsche China.

Tongji University has enjoyed clever family with Germany given prolonged before a initial sports automobile was built in Zuffenhausen. The chosen university was founded in 1907 as a medical propagandize by German physicians and conjunction wars nor revolutions have lessened a bond. Launched in 1998, one of a institutes – famous as a Chinese-German College for Postgraduate Studies (CDHK) – is deliberate a worldwide indication of educational exchange.

This tighten attribute also led Oliver Blume, now Chairman of a Porsche Executive Board, to Tongji University, where he warranted his doctorate: “I sensed a outrageous artistic expostulate in a people there, along with a enterprise to keep building both themselves and a country,” he has said. “That energetic peculiarity tender me greatly.”

“I’d launch a association with my teammates in a heartbeat”
Liu Fan

Blume went to a university after one of his doctoral advisors during a time, a Chinese clergyman during a Technical University of Braunschweig, invited him to serve his studies during a newly determined automotive engineering institute. In 2001, Blume became a initial German to be awarded a doctorate during Tongji, and a tie between a dual has continued. “Oliver Blume visited a organisation and that done me all a some-more vehement about Porsche,” says Liu Fan.

Tomorrow’s elite: Porsche supports investigate into intelligent vehicles during Tongji University in Shanghai.

Now celebrating a 20th anniversary, Porsche China has enjoyed fast success, with China apropos a sports-car maker’s largest singular marketplace in 2015, and Porsche has upheld amicable and informative projects there from a start. In Apr 2019, Tongji University and Porsche sealed a chit of cooperation. The origination of a Chinese-German chair in a margin of intelligent vehicles is usually as most a partial of this attempt as are serve educational opportunities and believe transfer. As a result, Porsche Engineering experts trafficked to Shanghai to yield veteran superintendence to a students and when personal communication became unfit due to a pandemic, they switched to digital training sessions. Less fanciful for a students though undoubtedly sporty: a determined engineers from a university’s DIAN Racing Team underwent motorist training during a Shanghai Porsche Experience Centre’s circuit, that is subsequent to a Formula One racetrack. This also enclosed a event on appetite government with a automobile in motion. Among other models, a immature drivers got behind a circle of a Porsche Taycan.

Fertile belligerent for start-ups

The concentration of investigate is really most on digital functions, a pivotal emanate in China, that leads a universe in a array of start-up. Its younger era is deliberate a vital sign of a automotive destiny and a normal age of Porsche’s business in China is 35 – compared to a normal worldwide age of 53. Almost half of all Porsche cars in China are owned by women.

The DRe20 racing car

By a age of eight, Liu Fan had detected his adore of automobiles when personification with a remote-controlled racing car. He was preoccupied reduction by a speed of a tiny electric automobile than by how it functioned, with electric expostulate systems banishment his curiosity. Liu Fan roughly reflexively records that a thought itself is not new. “After all,” he observes, “the Lohner-Porsche electric automobile was exhibited during a World’s Fair in Paris behind in 1900.”

“It was a disturb to hunt for solutions underneath vigour with a team.”

The tyro is also informed with a Semper Vivus Lohner-Porsche from a same year and recognises a vehicle’s hybrid expostulate as a sire of cars like a Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, that he is pushing opposite a campus today. As a fan of choice expostulate systems, his stream dream automobile is a Porsche Taycan, though he put his heart into a electric Formula Student team’s winning automobile – a DRe20, with a considerable behind wing.

The DRe20 racing automobile is a perfection of an sparkling journey. The early DRe13 chronicle hints during a end though still weighs 440 kilograms.

The DRe14 inheritor indication is 122 kg lighter. The DIAN racing organisation from Tongji University is obliged for building a car. Its 100-or so members all minister singular strengths.

Development focuses not usually on a middle workings. The visuals of a DRe15 are clearly some-more aerodynamic. The automobile has a rise speed of 140 km/h.

The DRe16 has all-wheel drive. The racing organisation strives for environmentally concordant mobility. The battery container has a voltage of 532.8.

In growth theatre DRe17, a front and behind wings are combined to boost downforce. The automobile now weighs usually 244 kg.

Technology and pattern in harmony: a figure of a nose and front wing are polished in a DRe18. Its lane breadth is optimised to raise opening when cornering: during 48:52 millimetres, it is now rather incomparable in front and leaner during a behind than in a initial growth stages.

Almost there: a DRe19 closely resembles a successor. The final thing to do is adjust a dimensions. Around 10 kg is strew to strech a final weight of 200 kg.

The winning car: Liu Fan’s organisation and a DRe20 come out forward of 66 rivals in a all-electric competition. Design and opening are a ideal fit.

Started in 1981, a Formula Student foe does not take a form of a championship racing array though rather a worldwide creation contest. Teams foe for points in disciplines like design, doing and performance.

The unsentimental partial of a foe includes a timed army on a doing course, an continuation exam and an acceleration trial. The teams routinely foe on a worldwide basis, though in many countries students’ growth work was interrupted by a pandemic. Plans for a German-Chinese tyro sell programme also fell plant to a virus. Liu Fan had started to learn German in preparation.

The foe was therefore hold locally. Some 101 teams met for 6 days in Xiangyang in Hubei Province, with 67 of a Chinese university teams entering all-electric cars

Like a competitors, a Tongji University organisation had to work from home during a basic period. Liu Fan, who had already won an endowment from a university for his care qualities in 2017, was inaugurated captain and took over a coordination. “I would have been approach too clever as a motorist anyway,” he says with a smile. While their rivals done use of customary solutions in fields like battery management, a Tongji organisation grown a heart of a electric automobile themselves.

Liu Fan automatic a program enabling uniform support of a engineering processes, and tender a jury with flawless information send and communications. He was gay by a teamwork. “It was a disturb to hunt for solutions underneath vigour with a tight-knit team,” he says, adding that he would launch a association with his teammates in a heartbeat – or even better, start operative for Porsche. The initial step in that instruction competence already have been taken. Collaboration between Tongji University and Porsche includes mouth-watering 5 superb students to internships during a company, one of whom is now Liu Fan. And he will positively not be a last.


Text initial published in a Porsche repository Christophorus, No. 399.