Griffith Racing Team speed ahead in job prospects

Griffith Racing Team Leader Ben Jackson in the 2015 race car.

A group of Griffith University students are designing and building a race car — and it’s not just so they can get good grades.

It’s all about making themselves more employable when they graduate.

The enthusiastic students are giving up their spare time for this innovative project knowing practical experience in the engineering industry is highly sought after by employers.

Last year’s Griffith Racing Team members Jack Anderson is now working at PWR Performance Products and Jason Sheering is working for Nissan Motorsport, both employed straight after graduating.

The 2016 Griffith Racing Team car design.
The 2016 Griffith Racing Team car design.

Reece Schmith, the team’s Static Events Manager and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering student, said the Griffith Racing Team project is starting to be recognised as a valuable skill among engineering firms Australia wide.

“The project is such a bonus skillset to add to a degree,” he said.

“With graduate positions becoming harder to come by there are high expectations on students to graduate with practical experience as well.”

Griffith aims to include real life industry experiences in all its degrees and programs.

This year about 22,500 students were enrolled in courses that facilitate internships, work experience or work placements with industry professionals locally, nationally and globally.

See what other students are doing to boost their job prospects:

Journalism students Aaron Cooper and Jacob Chicco

Nursing student Rachael Ovington

Child and Family Studies graduate Mindy Nelson


Griffith Racing Team, established in 2013, is a Formula SAE Team based on the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University.

Reece said the concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car.

“The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item,” he said.

“The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer.

“Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules, whose purpose is both ensuring on-track safety, with the cars are driven by the students themselves, and promoting clever problem solving.”

Griffith entered the FSAE competition for the first time last year and came 14th out of 34.

Reece said while the team is mostly comprised of mechanical engineering students, membership was available to any student across the university who can bring skills to the team in areas such as industrial design, business, arts.

“It’s not just about building a race car, the project also involves design, marketing and business skills that can all be transferable to real life.”

Currently students in the team include Ben Jackson, Reece Schmith, Bill Sherwood, Sean Lowndes, Daniel Schulte-loh,Jake Werninghaus,Matt Duff, Reece Marsh, Sean Weatherspoon, Zac Melville, Thompson Hand, Ross Baker, Jacob Wright, Kyle Searchfield, Matt Trawinski, Dean Paindaveine.

Daniel Schulte-Loh; Jake Werninghaus; Ben Jackson; Matt Duff; Reece Schmith and Sean Lowndes
Daniel Schulte-Loh; Jake Werninghaus; Ben Jackson; Matt Duff; Reece Schmith and Sean Lowndes