A group of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will race a solar-powered car approximately 1,800 miles against teams from around the nation in the American Solar Challenge, a competition for collegiate design teams.
The American Solar Challenge will be held July 30-Aug. 6. The race route, which leads teams through seven states as they race from Brecksville, Ohio, to Hot Springs, South Dakota, was designed in partnership with the National Park Service to support its 2016 centennial celebrations. The route will include stages and checkpoints at nine national parks and historic sites throughout the Midwest. The team with the lowest cumulative time between stages will win the competition.
Before the cross-country challenge, teams must pass scrutineering during the Formula Sun Grand Prix. The track race acts as a safety proving ground and seeding system for the cross-country race. Teams start the event with three days of technical and safety inspections, then move on to several days of racing at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
Twenty-three teams will compete at the grand prix, but some of the teams might fail to qualify for the road race if they lack the required safety or lap requirements. The team with the most completed laps over three days will be first on the starting line for the American Solar Challenge.
Missouri S&T’s Solar Car Design Team named its vehicle the Solar Miner after the school’s mascot, Joe Miner. The car is an all-carbon-fiber composite vehicle with solar panels on the top. The entire car, including its electrical components, was designed and constructed by Missouri S&T students. Its steering wheel is designed similar to a Formula-One-style racecar, with many integrated buttons and controls.
The road race route will be as follows:
— Stage 1: Saturday, July 30, through Sunday, July 31 – the race begins at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, with a checkpoint at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio. The stage ends at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana.
— Stage 2: Monday, Aug. 1, through Tuesday, Aug. 2 – teams depart from Vincennes, stop at a checkpoint at Grant’s Farm in the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, and end at Republic High School, near Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Republic, Missouri.
— Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 3, through Friday, Aug. 5 – teams depart Republic and head to a checkpoint at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. The next checkpoint is at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. Teams will finish the stage at the Scotts Bluff National Monument in Gering, Nebraska.
— Stage 4: Saturday, Aug. 6 – teams will leave Gering and finish the race at Wind Cave National Park in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T, John Tyler, a research engineer at Missouri S&T, and Letha Young, a lieutenant in the Missouri S&T police department, are the team’s advisors. Jesse Cureton, a senior in computer engineering from Bonne Terre, Missouri, is the Solar Car Design Team leader.
The following team members will represent Missouri S&T:
Will Applegate, a sophomore in electrical engineering from Pacific, Missouri
Jorge Bretzke, a junior in aerospace engineering from Seattle
Charles Cooley, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Barnhart, Missouri
Jesse Cureton, a senior in computer engineering from Bonne Terre, Missouri
Donovan Gibson, a senior in mechanical engineering from Worth, Missouri
Adam Hinkebein, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Pacific, Missouri
Nathan Jacobson, a senior in chemical engineering from Union, Kentucky
Conner Kostelac, a junior in engineering management from Platte City, Missouri
Will Lorey, a sophomore in computer engineering from St. Louis
Alex Moll, a junior in electrical and computer engineering from Hermann, Missouri
Caleb Olson, a junior in computer engineering from Vienna, Missouri
Daniel Peters, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Louis
Tristan Ponder, a sophomore in electrical engineering from Saint Mary, Missouri
Minhaz Rashid, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from Florissant, Missouri
Chris Riske, a senior in mechanical engineering from Western Springs, Illinois
Michael Rouse, a sophomore in computer science from O’Fallon, Missouri
John Schoeberle, a senior in mechanical engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois
Brandon Terlouw, a senior in mechanical engineering from Chesterfield, Missouri.