The Revs Program at Stanford & the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) hosted an evening with the Stanford Solar Car Project. The discussion with members of the team, titled 'Racing Across the Outback (Without Stopping for Gas),' detailed the team's competition in the 2013 World Solar Challenge race.
The Stanford Solar Car Project (SSCP) began in 1989 and is an entirely student-run, non-profit organization fueled by its members’ passion for environmentally sustainable technology. The team designs and builds solar-powered cars to race in the 2000 mile-long World Solar Challenge in the Australian Outback. SSCP provides a unique opportunity for Stanford students to gain valuable hands-on engineering and business experience while raising community awareness of clean energy vehicles. The team generally operates on a two-year design and build cycle and enters the finished car in a cross-continental solar race. Luminos, featured in the photo above finished 4th in 2013 making Stanford Solar Car the top undergraduate team in the world and the top solar car team in the Western Hemisphere.
Members usually join SSCP as undergraduates with little to no engineering background and gradually build their knowledge while working on a vehicle. Coordinating a project of this magnitude also requires considerable management and planning, allowing students to develop these vital business skills in an engineering environment. With this approach, the team has fostered ten generations of award-winning vehicles, proving that a hands-on education in creative design and execution produces impressive results.
The event was moderated by Prof. Chris Gerdes, Director of CARS and Revs Program.