May Newsletter

Welcome to the SAE-A May Newsletter. 

The past few weeks have been packed with events at the SAE-A, starting off with our presence at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo in early April, followed by the facility tour at Carbon Revolution, the seminar on Modifying a Light Vehicle, and more recently, the 71st Annual General Meeting and the 90th Anniversary Dinner Celebration.

The facility tour, seminar, and the Celebration Dinner were fully booked out events, and it was a great experience seeing the members getting involved in the Society's events with such enthusiasm.

In this newsletter, we review the recent SAE-A events, provide an update on the new Project Management Mentor Program initiative, and bring you other relevant industry updates.

As always, get in touch with us if you have feedback or a story you'd like to share; send a message to

Sid Sheth - Editor, SAE-A

Table of Contents

1. Event Reviews

        a. 90th Anniversary Dinner Celebration

        b. Carbon Revolution Facility Tour

        c. Modifying a Light Vehicle or Motorcycle Seminar

2. Project Management Mentor Program Update from RMIT Electric Racing

3. RedARC Wins the Excellence in Manufacturing - Gold Award

4. Share Your Knowledge - Submit a Paper in the SAE-A Technical Journal

5. Vale: Eric Layton

6. SAE Level 3 "hand off" is challenging AI researchers

7. Job Opportunity

8. SAE-A Events Update

9. Industry News Highlights

10. SAE-A Bookshop

1. Event Reviews 

a. 90th Anniversary Dinner Celebration

Promoting mobility engineering excellence in Australasia since 1927 - the Society of Automotive Engineers - Australasia, celebrated its 90th Anniversary on the 4th of May at the Hotel Windsor in Melbourne. 

Photos from the night are available for viewing and download here.

Visit the SAE-A website for the special video feature or click on the links below.
SAE-A - Celebrating 90 Years The Formula SAE-A Story

Over a hundred individuals from various sectors of the industry attended the Society's 90th Anniversary Dinner Celebration. The room's vibrant atmosphere was attributed to the range of attendees, varying from students to senior executives from universities, OE manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers and service providers, trades, media, and more. 

Celebrating the 90th Anniversary in the Ballroom of the Hotel Windsor.

Highlights from the night include a presentation from the Acting Deputy Secretary from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources, Dr. Michael Green, followed by a speech from Nicholas Muscat and Sidney McGibbon, the Society's youngest and eldest members respectively, and the inspiring story of Carbon Revolution's journey shared by Dr. Ashley Denmead, Engineering and Design Director at Carbon Revolution.

Dr. Green's presentation on the "Opportunities in the Transport Technologies Sector" discussed the Future Industries Sector Strategies and the Automotive Transition Plan.

The Future Industries Sector Strategies is focused on creating new jobs and simulating industry investment in high growth and high value industries. It comprises of a $200 million Future Industries Fund allocated towards growing the Australian industry.

Dr. Michael Green presenting on the "Opportunities in the Transport Technologies Sector".

Another key initiative discussed was the Automotive Transition Plan. As part of this plan, the Victorian Automotive Transition Task Force and four local task forces in Melbourne's North, South East, West and Geelong are advising businesses on the transitioning automotive industry in Australia. Support includes targeted assistance for business, workers, and affected communities.

Dr. Green's presentation also discussed the government's plans to develop Fishermans Bend into a hub of defence, auto design and engineering, education and technology.

The attendees heard from the Society's youngest, Nicholas Muscat, aged 13, about his interest in cars and his aspirations to be a part of the Society and the Formula SAE-A competition.

Our youngest member, Nicholas Muscat, aged 13.

The SAE-A's eldest member, Sidney McGibbon, aged 99, shared his knowledge of the origins of the Society and the role the Society has played over the 90 years in sharing knowledge, supporting individuals, and developing the mobility industry in Australia.

Our eldest member, Sidney McGibbon, aged 99.

Our final guest speaker, Dr. Ashley Denmead, shared Carbon Revolution's journey so far as the world's first and only producer of one-piece carbon fiber wheels. Attendees heard about the origins of the concept in the 2004 Formula SAE-A competition, leading to the company's foundation in a suburban backyard shed to where they are today in their world class facility at Deakin University's campus in Waurn Ponds. 

Dr. Ashley Denmead from Carbon Revolution shares the journey of the company so far.

We would like to thank our sponsors and all our guests for showing their support for the Society and contributing to the success of the night. We look forward to many more years of promoting mobility engineering excellence in the Australian industry.

b. Carbon Revolution Facility Tour

The SAE-A facilitated a tour of Carbon Revolution on the 19th of April, which provided an insight into the company’s background, the manufacturing process, and the technology behind composite wheels.

The tour was particularly interesting, as Carbon Revolution is the world’s only manufacturer of one-piece carbon fiber wheels that meet the automotive industry’s standards. Attendees of the tour learnt about the company’s origins in the Formula SAE-A competition. 

The first composite wheels were developed by the founders of Carbon Revolution, and the technology appeared in 2004 on a Formula SAE-A vehicle competing in the global student engineering design competition.

Attendees of the SAE-A Carbon Revolution Facility Tour.

Carbon Revolution’s success story and its origins highlight how the Formula SAE-A competition cultivates young talent, provides them with a unique learning experience, and plays an important role in developing our future leaders and innovators.

The SAE-A has been directing its resources and focus on delivering some of the best events in the mobility industry for its members and the community. Facility tours such as this one, and various other workshops and seminars throughout the year, not only provide an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, but also significantly develop your knowledge and contribute towards your professional development.

c. Modifying a Light Vehicle or Motorcycle Seminar

The SAE-A National Office was filled with a diverse group of individuals in late April (Thursday, 27th April), who have an interest in modifying light vehicles and learning about the process involved in ensuring that a modified vehicle is compliant with relevant regulations and accepted engineering practice.

The seminar comprised of a presentation by VASS engineer, Bill Malkoutzis, who provided an insight into the laws, rules, processes and standards that are applied to ensure that your modified vehicle is compliant with these standards.

Bill Malkoutzis presenting to a packed room at the SAE-A National Office.

Followed by the presentation from Bill, Vipac discussed the process involved in undertaking the IM240 emissions test and highlighted the company's capabilities in emissions testing. Vipac’s Vehicle Testing Laboratory in Melbourne is the only independent commercial facility offering the IM240 emissions test in Victoria.

Bill Malkoutzis (left) and presenters from Vipac, Paul Davey (center) and Sachil Meegama (right).

Attendees of the seminar also had the opportunity to hear from our special guest from VicRoads, Drew Stevenson, who shared a few words about the recommended process involved in getting your modified vehicle certified.

VicRoads representative, Drew Stevenson, sharing a few words at the seminar.

For more information on events, contact Greg at the SAE-A National Office:

Phone: (03) 9676 9568

Click HERE for the SAE-A’s 2017 Calendar of Events and get involved today!

2. Project Management Mentor Program Update from RMIT Electric Racing

The Project Management Mentor Program commenced in Victoria in March 2017. The program is result of a partnership between the SAE-A and Project Management Institute which provides the Formula SAE teams an opportunity to work closely with project management experts to assist them in an advisory capacity in their journey to the Formula SAE competition. 

Formula SAE-A teams working with their PM mentors at the SAE-A National Office.

RMIT Electric Racing is one such team that has been working with the Project Management Institute in order to gain professional guidance from experienced project managers about what can enhance and improve the way in which the project is managed. Here's what Taylor Mather, Team Leader of RMIT Electric Racing, had to say about their experience so far.

At RMIT Electric Racing, we have found it extremely useful to have a professional looking over the documents that we are producing. This also means that we are able to get a better idea of the processes and documentation that should be put in place to help make the project go smoother.

Being able to call on the experience of someone that has been working in the industry for many years. We are able to draw on their experience in the field to increase the effectiveness of the management of the project, and therefore increase the ability for the team to reach a better result, year after year.

To learn more about this initiative, contact Greg at the SAE-A National Office:

Phone: (03) 9676 9568

3. REDARC Wins the Excellence in Manufacturing - Gold Award

The Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards are designed to recognise outstanding achievers in the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Industry.

For a second consecutive year, Adelaide-based automotive systems manufacturer, REDARC Electronics, was awarded Gold at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards in early April this year.

REDARC representatives at the Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards.

The Excellence Awards Banquet was held at the Crown Palladium and attended by over 850 people. It formed part of the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo which is Australia’s most comprehensive exhibition of vehicle repair and servicing equipment, replacement parts, tools and accessories.

In order to achieve further growth and a focus on continual manufacturing, REDARC announced that it will expand their manufacturing facility and house additional state-of-the-art machinery equipment in Lonsdale, South Australia. Completion of the upgrade is scheduled for 2018.

For more information on REDARC, click here.
For more information on the Australian Auto Aftermarket Awards, visit here.

4. Share Your Knowledge - Submit a Paper in the SAE-A Technical Journal

The SAE-A Technical Journal is an avenue for members, and others, to share high quality and vetted works on automotive technology. The key to the success of the Technical Journal is participation of members. This process of sharing knowledge helps drive all aspects of modern society forward.

If your idea, concept, project or innovation is something new or novel, then you have something worth sharing. It may only be a small addition to what is already known, but that addition is still valuable. One way to ensure that you have something new is to read other papers on the same topic – you can find such papers on Google Scholar.

Alternatively, if you have a project or item that is not necessarily new, but is still relevant to the industry, then you can submit this work as a case study.

Visit the SAE-A Technical Journal website. It will provide you with an overview of the kinds of papers published and may inspire you to do the same. 

We look forward to your participation and as the Technical Journal Editor, I am available to assist with advice and to steer you in the right direction to publishing your first paper.

For more information about the SAE-A Technical Journal, contact Clint:

SAE-A Technical Journal:

5. Vale: Eric John Layton

Eric John Layton joined the Society in 1966. In 1984, Eric was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of the SAE-A. 

Eric was Quality Assurance Manager for Basic Manufacturing Operations at Ford Motor Company since 1964 and had many different responsibilities both in Australia and overseas.

Eric was involved in many of the early SAE-A Committees and was the Secretary of the Technical Board and a member of the SAE-A Board as a Councillor (now referred as a Board Director).

Eric passed away on 1st of September, 2016.

6. SAE Level 3 "hand off" is challenging AI researchers

Toyota's top artificial intelligence expert discusses the many challenges to implementing fully autonomous vehicle driving.

When Gill Pratt, the CEO of Toyota Research Institute, the carmaker’s artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Menlo Park, CA, mounted the CES 2017 stage earlier this year, he delivered a reality check about automated driving.

"We’re not even close to Level 5 autonomy, which the SAE defined as full robotic control everywhere, at any time, in any conditions," Pratt told the audience. "We have many years of machine learning research to do to achieve Level 5.”

Dr. Gill Pratt, a robotics expert, is CEO of the Toyota Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA.

Later, in an interview with SAE International Automotive Engineering, Pratt credited recent steady progress to most driving being relatively easy—"we do most of it without half thinking,” he said. But true self-driving vehicles will need “trillion-mile reliability” and the elusive ability to handle “corner cases” in their automated search for the best solutions. These are the difficult and rare problems or situations that can occur outside of normal operating parameters.

He likened the required robo-driving skills of the future to those of trained professional airline pilots. Current driving capabilities are more like the skills of general-aviation pilots.

On the other hand, SAE Level 4 autonomy, where the car operates fully automatically only at limited speeds in certain operational areas, weather conditions or time of day, “is coming much faster,” the former MIT professor and DARPA director told the CES audience. “In fact, it’s very likely we’ll get to Level 4 within the decade.”

Toyota unveiled its latest Concept-i vehicle and Yui AI-based driving assistant  at CES 2017.

Warning is 'hard to guarantee'

Pratt then highlighted a key challenge to Level 3 and 2 operations that his all-star team of AI scientists is now studying. “If the autonomous car needs to hand-off control to a human driver in Level 3 driving, it must ensure that it gives sufficient warning, a ‘request to intervene’ to the driver, who may not be paying attention at the time,” he explained.

Perhaps even more challenging, he believes, is the requirement for the Level 2 human driver to always supervise the operation of the autonomy, "taking over control when the autonomy fails to see danger ahead.” To give a disengaged driver 15 s of warning at 105 km/h, the system must spot trouble ahead at a distance equivalent to five football fields. Such a feat requires prediction before the hazard has yet appeared.

That’s extremely hard to guarantee,” Pratt asserted, “and unlikely to be achieved soon. In fact, it is possible that Level 3 may be as difficult to accomplish as Level 4.”

Further, tests show that “the longer drivers disregard control of the vehicle, the longer it takes to regain control,” he noted. Psychologists who studied this "breakdown of vigilance" in WWII radar operators, call this issue the “vigilance decrement.”

Pratt asked the CES audience if, over a two-hour road trip, they would be likely to remain vigilant for a possible handoff of the Level 2 car’s autonomy. “Does this mean that Level 2 is a bad idea? Some companies have already decided to skip Levels 2 and 3,” he noted.

The TRI team has uncovered earlier psychological studies that hint that some things—texting while driving not included—seem to reduce vigilance decrement. He said the research found that some "mild" secondary tasks may actually help maintain situational awareness. For example, how do long-haul truck drivers maintain comparatively good safety records? Perhaps, Pratt surmised, it's because they talk on two-way radios and scan the road for speed traps.

Expert opinion is divided, Pratt declared. He reckons that an enhanced version of the Toyota’s Yui driving assistant, which recently debuted in Toyota’s Concept-i vehicle, might be able to provide the interaction that could help maintain a driver’s supervisory attention over time.

A future version of Toyota's Yui driving assistant (center) might help keep humans focusing on autonomous driving.

To help investigate this and other such technical challenges, the TRI leader said that Toyota Motor Corp. is doubling the size of the 100-member team that he assembled a year ago to conduct the $1-billion collaborative program, which includes researchers from Stanford University, MIT and University of Michigan.

Credits: SAE International

7. Job Opportunity

The SAE-A is pleased to provide our members with access to job opportunities available at our partner companies. There has been a recent opening at Vipac, see further details below.

Position: Senior Acoustic Consultant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Vipac is seeking an experienced Senior Acoustic Consultant with a relevant degree, a proven track record in delivering projects in Environmental and Building Acoustics, and the desire and commitment to develop business in this area. Click here for more details and how to apply.

Click here for more details and how to apply.

The SAE-A Industry Jobs page hosts regular updates on job opportunities.

8. Events Update

The SAE-A has been working hard this year to deliver some of the best events in the industry to contribute towards the professional development of our members.

Click HERE for the SAE-A's 2017 Calendar of Events for our 90th year.

Here's what's on in the next three months:

Modifying a Light Vehicle or Motorcycle (NSW)

May 15th, 2017: 5:30pm - 9:00pm AEDST

How to Write a Research Paper (VIC)

June 6th, 2017: 6:30pm - 8:30pm AEDST

Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement for Automotive Professionals (VIC)

June 13th, 2017: 9:00am - 5:00pm AEDST

Early bird discount available

Facility Tour - CSIRO 3D Printing Metal in Engineering (VIC) 

June 22nd, 2017: 11:00am - 1:00pm AEDST

Introduction to Crash Investigation and Reconstruction (VIC)

July 10th - 14th, 2017

Early bird discount available

Cost Reporting (VIC)

July 25th, 2017: 6:30pm - 8:00pm AEDST

Modifying a Light Vehicle or Motorcycle (QLD)

Aug 22nd, 2017: 5:30pm - 9:00pm AEDST

9. Industry News Highlights

Social media highlights from March 2017 to April 2017.
Check out the SAE-A's social media channels for more industry and Society news. 

How the Lamborghini Huracan Performante's Active Aerodynamics system works

NIO, a next-generation car company, announced the fastest ever autonomous lap at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin, Texas. The electric supercar also achieved a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe. Read More

NIO Sets a New Record for the Fastest Autonomous Car in the World

NIO, a next-generation car company, announced the fastest ever autonomous lap at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin, Texas. The electric supercar also achieved a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe. Read More

10. SAE-A Bookshop

To order the featured book below, visit the SAE-A Bookshop, or
Contact Rose at the SAE-A National Office

Phone: (03) 9676 9568

Bosch Automotive Handbook - 9th Edition

The Bosch Automotive Handbook is a best-seller, with a broad global readership. Students of engineering programs consult it, as do researchers and engineers in the automotive industry.

Experts trust the well-founded and extensive expertise that can be found in the classic. The Bosch Automotive Handbook is widely regarded around the world as a standard work for automotive technology.

Non-Member Price: $113.00
SAE-A/Joint SAE-I Member Price:

Postage & Handling (Australia):
Prices quoted include GST

Vehicle Technology Engineer (VTE) Magazine Subscription

The Vehicle Technology Engineer (VTE) is the official magazine of the Society of Automotive Engineers - Australasia, featuring technology innovations and industry updates. The VTE is distributed via print and email with 4 issues published per year (April, July, October and December)

SAE-A Member Price: Included in the membership package
Non-Member Price (Australia): $145.00
Non-Member Price (Overseas): $165.00

To subscribe to the VTE Magazine, click here.

Keep up to date with the SAE-A via our social media channels:

Facebook     Facebook 



Copyright © 2017 Society of Automotive Engineers - Australasia