MIT Solar Car to Take on Australian Outback

Published by Julie Barr in the MIT Alumni Association's "Slice of MIT" blog

A team of 17 MIT students and alumni will travel 3,000 kilometers across the Australian Outback in a Solar Electric Vehicle for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015 starting on October 18. A total of 47 teams from 25 countries—made up of mostly colleges and universities—will compete in the six-day competition that encourages research into sustainable transportation methods as well as solar technology.

This year’s vehicle, Arcturus, was designed and manufactured by the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT) in just one year as opposed to the usual two-year process. Work on the vehicle, which is completed mostly in MIT’s Edgerton Center, is underway year-round thanks to the contributions of 25 team members. The group is split into three teams, electrical, mechanical, and aerodynamics and composites. Dillon McConnon ’15, who got involved as a first-year student and is currently deferring the start of a full-time job at GM until November to participate as a driver in the challenge, was previously mechanical team lead and this year was the team’s first systems lead—a position they started to help all three teams to create a cohesive vehicle, especially given the short time frame.