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Zhang Boxiang Exclusive Interview》
From robotics club to Formula Student, the starting point of burning dreams


Editers | 林郁潔 廖昱翰

Zhang Boxiang, who graduated from the Automotive Department of Tainan Polytechnic Institute, now works in the System Experiment Department of Mitsubishi Motors' first vehicle development headquarters in Japan. He is mainly responsible for the strength and reliability of passenger car monocoque frames. Waiting for verification.

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Although he majored in automobiles, the senior did not directly join the team activities at the beginning. Instead, he first entered the robotics club. It was not until he was invited by the senior of the Department of Beida to help him that he joined the Beida Formula Student Team.


It was this simple invitation that made the senior make up his mind to leave the robotics club he originally belonged to, and resolutely quit the department society he originally participated in, and devoted himself wholeheartedly to Taipei Tech Racing in 2016. From the beginning of bracket design and processing, to assisting the team in Cost Report editing, and finally became the team captain and cost report team leader the next year. Recalling the experience during that period, the senior also generously shared the challenges and unknown pressures in the team.


"At that time, I was just working hard. I worked hard for a month without sleeping."


Not familiar with writing cost reports, Beike Racing Team encountered considerable setbacks in static races for two consecutive years. In addition to leaving a lot of regrets for the participants themselves, this incident also caused senior Boxiang, as the main leader of the team, to face pressure from the school and sponsors.


Senior Boxiang and Beike Racing Team successfully entered the static exhibition defense session


But this did not extinguish his confidence and enthusiasm for the car and the team. Instead, he worked harder to think of solutions, which also allowed Beike Racing Team to successfully enter the dynamic race in the third year.

Stepping out of the comfort zone, Beijing Institute of Technology and Toyoko University of Science and Technology


Before graduating from a nearby university, most students chose between exchange and internship. Therefore, senior Bo Xiang, who had already had internship experience before university, chose to go to Beijing Institute of Technology for exchange, and became the team leader with his friends at that time. People also went to the China Race to observe and assist with trial runs. For the Beike Racing Team, they take on the role of assisting and making arrangements, and the actual development process is handed over to the juniors.

But even so, he still had some regrets in his heart.


"First of all, it's a pity that after so many years of hard work, I still haven't finished. If I enter the industry with such a half-baked level, can I really become an engineer? It makes me very uneasy to leave such a suspense.


The second one was that I met Huang Ping (Bahamut) on the Internet.

Not only did he bring me new perspectives every time he returned to Taiwan, but he also often chatted with me before graduation, encouraging me not to leave any regrets. After going to Japan twice, I should have a clearer idea of where to start in order to make a good car, take advantage of the knowledge I have learned so far, and explore unknown areas. "


Knowing that he was very interested in tires, the senior student considered "tires" as his biggest consideration, and finally selected Toyohashi University of Science and Technology, which had performed well in this research project, as the training channel for the institute. He also entered the school's racing team (TUT). FORMULA), and served as the leader of the human-machine & suspension group, the leader of the suspension & aerodynamics group, and the advanced technology developer from 2020 to 2021.

Student Formula V.S. Department selection, which one is more important?


The senior who resolutely joined the racing team even when he was a graduate student couldn't help but sigh when he heard the inquiry from us. He joined FSAE from university and he knows very well about Taiwan's job market.The selection of the thesis topic and even the selection of the department are far more important than the experience of participating in the Formula League.If you really want to develop in China, applying for the control group of a machinery institute will be more helpful for employment.


"All the Japanese car manufacturers whose names you can pronounce, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Mitsubishi, etc., or Hino. You can see the first page of their website for recruiting people, and then the second to last or third page. All three will have a question: "Have you ever participated in the following competitions?"


But for foreign car manufacturers, FSAE's participation is a considerable bonus.Recalling the time when I submitted my resume, the senior said that most foreign car manufacturers will have a page where you can check the fields for experience in relevant activities, and one of them says Formula Student League. Because for them, they understand that this competition project can bring practical experience to the participants.


"What do you want to do? If you are interested in something, choose it first. But then you may have to think about the way out of this research topic, which will be related to your future position and needs, so you have to think clearly. "


"That's more than enough. There's nothing wrong with Formula Student. I just sleep a little less. But I'm still very happy."


Although he said that the control group was more popular, his thesis topic did not directly add that many points to his work. He even bluntly stated that Formula Student racing was not an advantage in China. But from just a few words, we can still feel that the senior has no regrets or regrets about his choice. At the end of the sentence, he also told us that he only made an objective recommendation based on advantages.But in the end, I still think everyone should choose according to their own preferences.After all, the projects he focused on during his studies ended up being somewhat irrelevant to his own work.


"Actually, I majored in vibration related studies in graduate school, and then my student equations were used to do some suspension simulations, or vehicle dynamic analysis, or aerodynamic kits, fluid mechanics, etc. But after joining the company, I was assigned The department actually conducts some experiments to evaluate the strength.”


The research project you initially choose is not necessarily 100% related to your future career or development. Therefore, how to choose what you love and love your choice while carefully thinking about the possible future development is also something that seniors believe that everyone can calm down and think again. Good question to explore.

Preparation before entering the automobile industry, "I don't understand the work number and suggest that I rework it quickly."


In addition to talking about the department, research direction, and the impact of Formula Student on the workplace, we also asked senior Bo Xiang for advice he could give to students who are still studying and are interested in entering the automotive industry. After hearing this question, he chose the subject of engineering mathematics without hesitation.


"The first one is the number of workers. The number of the workers is very important. For example, when I started learning the numbers of workers in my sophomore year, I thought it was useless at all. But when you start designing student equations, you will start to find that there are so many things. It’s all solved using labor numbers.”


Just like the confusion and complaints that most students have about the subject, he initially thought that Engineering and Mathematics was a fairly useless subject.Until I actually joined the fleet and other application fields, I suddenly discovered that the boring things before were basic tools for practical operations., and I once regretted not seriously studying engineering and mathematics. He repeatedly emphasized that if current students still have time, or feel that their engineering mathematics is not very good, they must seize the opportunity to retake it.


In addition to engineering mathematics, he also mentioned two other very important subject systems.


The first one is the five forces that engineering students are familiar with –Mechanical mechanics, material mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, if the ambition lies in the frame, suspension, steering, and transmission, then the importance of these five forces is even more prominent;For students who want to take the control group, vehicle dynamics is another necessary subject.

If you don't know how to calculate, subsequent research on material matching, geometric operations, and even steering system gears and racks will be hindered. Even though it is boring to read now, in the end I will be grateful that I have thoroughly studied this basic subject.


The second important subject is language. For seniors who have gone through the research journey, he clearly understands that there are very few reference materials related to Chinese, or it can be said with certainty that there are basically none.Relevant literature, papers, and graduation topics presented by other students are all presented in English. Therefore, if your English reading level is not good, you will not be able to find any information that can be used during the reference process. Furthermore, your chances of getting a job in a foreign car manufacturer will be very slim.


If students want to enter the Japanese automobile industry, they must pass at least N2 in Japanese, and they must learn basic applied Japanese well to be able to communicate with colleagues.


However, when it comes to personality suitability, Senior Boxiang feels that it is fine even if he is not a "weirdo". As long as he maintains a certain degree of persistence and principles, and sticks to his dream while setting a good stop loss point, he will I believe that nothing is absolutely impossible. As long as you try your best, you might get unexpected results.

Look at potential first and then define, Mitsubishi’s recruitment method

Talking about the recruitment method at Japanese car parks, the senior shared a talent allocation model that is slightly different from that of Taiwanese companies.


The positions, corresponding skills and other requirements are clearly written in our common recruitment advertisements, but for Japanese car manufacturers, they first use the total number of admissions as the first line of defense. Suppose he wants to recruit 120 new people today, then he will first recruit enough candidates based on basic requirements and preliminary assessment. As for which unit you will be assigned to today, or you will be asked to leave the company. , it will all depend on the performance during the first half year of internship.


While talking about this, the senior also shared with us a little interesting story from his internship.


"When you work late night, because he changes shifts once a week, sometimes you are not used to suddenly changing from morning shift to night shift, so you lost eight kilograms in one go in those two months.

You can build muscles without even going to the gym. Because it’s not light to move that sheet metal, it’s quite heavy. "


"It was summer at that time and it was very hot. Although they had air-conditioning, their air-conditioning was at one point. It was brought out by an air duct, but because the weather was very hot in summer, you only had to walk more than one meter and within thirty You start to feel hot within seconds.

It also allows you to exercise in disguise, and then you will want to finish it correctly as soon as possible, and then hide in an air-conditioned place to rest. "



The bitterness and sweetness of Mitsubishi, the reality of working in a foreign country

During his time working at Mitsubishi, Mr. Bo Xiang pointed out the advantages of several companies, as well as the challenges brought about by the cultural shock he would face in Japan.


Advantages 1. Complete welfare systems such as food, clothing, housing and transportation

The company has basic facilities such as a canteen and dormitories. The dormitories are single rooms with parking spaces. In simple terms, it only costs about NT$4,000 a month. Only bathroom facilities will need to be shared with others.

There is even a subsidy of about NT$15,000 a year for travel expenses, and another subsidy for daily commuting expenses. The NT$15,000 here is a subsidy for free travel.


Advantage 2: Perfect training system

If you encounter a training course, the company will also be fully responsible for your extension related expenses and fully support your continued education.


Advantage 3. Stable work

In principle, in Japanese car factories, you will not be fired if you do strange things or violate laws and regulations. Most people can retire directly, so job stability is quite high.


Challenge 1. Conservative social atmosphere

Faced with the impact of the company's negative news, recent developments have been mainly based on public tastes, and there is less research on more challenging models or research and development.


Challenge 2: Some departments work long overtime hours

The nature of the work of each department is somewhat different, so it is inevitable that there will be situations where things cannot be completed and must be worked overtime to deal with things. But the senior also specifically mentioned that even if the company still strictly controls overtime hours, if overtime is really encountered, corresponding overtime fees will be paid.

The working hours of his development department can also be flexibly adjusted according to the overtime situation of the previous day.


Challenge 3: There are few foreigners in the company and the etiquette and habits vary greatly.

It is not easy to enter a large company like Mitsubishi. As a Taiwanese senior, I have never met colleagues from Taiwan in the company, and there are also very few other foreign colleagues. Without the blessing of "fellow countrymen", Japan is a country with relatively complicated cultural etiquette. The way of sealing, the angle of bowing, the use of honorifics and humility, and even other body language habits are all foreigners. Big challenge.

Because I have a dream in my heart, I always stick to it

At the end of the interview, the senior made a note about his past and present.


"It's because I like cars... I like cars, and I have some requirements for myself, so I now work in a Japanese car factory. Because I like cars, I did Formula Student for five or seven years. That's also because I can invest in the car industry and be able to Doing research and development work, this enthusiasm supports me to challenge and overcome many troublesome things and difficulties. "


In the process of pursuing his dream, there are many complaints and many difficulties, but he has always been passionate about vehicles and has a relatively modest attitude towards learning and his own skills. While he was talking to us about the car's structure and technology, his eyes also shone with a gleam that he couldn't hide from what he loved. ,


We also wish that all those who have dreams of becoming a car industry can be as persistent as our seniors and have the courage to chase and build their dreams!

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