Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Solar Car Team earned fourth place at the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2015, an international student design competition for solar-powered vehicles.
The competition was held July 26-31 at the Circuit of The Americas, a 3.4-mile Formula One racetrack in Austin, Texas. The competition challenged teams to complete as many laps as possible over three days of racing with their student-designed and -built cars. Missouri S&T’s car completed a total of 181 laps and completed the third-fastest lap at the competition, with a time of 4:49.05 minutes.
Teams started the competition with three days of technical and safety inspections, then moved on to the racetrack. Only teams that met all safety requirements were allowed to race on the track.
Missouri S&T’s car, named Solar Miner VIII, raced in Austin during last year’s competition as well, but this year’s car features a redesigned power system that is 40 percent more powerful than the car’s 2014 technology. An upgraded telemetry system transmitted the car’s real-time energy consumption and performance data to the team to get the maximum performance from the sun’s power.
Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T, John Tyler, a research engineer in the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center at Missouri S&T, and Letha Young, a lieutenant in the Missouri S&T police department, are the team’s advisors. John Schoeberle, a senior in mechanical engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois, is the team leader. For more information about the competition, visit americansolarchallenge.org.
The following Missouri S&T team members traveled to the competition:
Jorge Bretzke, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from Seattle, Washington
Charles Cooley, a freshman in mechanical engineering from Barnhart, Missouri
Donovan Gibson, a junior in mechanical engineering from Worth, Missouri
Nick Glover, a sophomore in electrical engineering from Algonquin, Illinois
Austin Holmsley, a senior in aerospace engineering from Wright City, Missouri
Nathan Jacobson, a senior in chemical engineering from Union, Kentucky
Conner Kostelac, a sophomore in engineering management from Platte City, Missouri
Caleb Olson, a sophomore in computer engineering from Vienna, Missouri
Daniel Peters, a junior in mechanical engineering from Pleasant Hill, Missouri
Katherine Ramsay, a senior in economics from Rolla, Missouri
Minhaz Rashid, a freshman in aerospace engineering from Florissant, Missouri
Miles Redman, a senior in computer engineering from St. Joseph, Missouri
Robert Ruark, a senior in electrical engineering from Glen Carbon, Illinois
John Schoeberle, a senior in mechanical engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois
Zach Smedley, a junior in mechanical engineering from Plattsburg, Missouri
Brandon Terlouw, a senior in mechanical engineering from Chesterfield, Missouri
Eric Walter, a freshman in electrical engineering from Old Monroe, Missouri.