Solar Car will race again

A passionate student-led team, which started in 2013 with a budget of $500 and a team of four, Western Sydney University’s Solar team is now a team of around 20, with a specialised workshop located on Western’s Kingswood campus.

A multi-disciplinary project, the team includes Western students from all Schools within the University. Students manage the project from start to completion - from designing, building and racing the car, to communications and administration.

As highlighted to the Western community at Giving Day 2019, the Solar team is passionate about renewable energy, innovations, environmentally-friendly sustainable transportation, pushing the boundaries of engineering and winning!

“There’s an inevitable push towards sustainable solutions, especially sustainable mobility, and I believe we’re at the forefront of that. We’re all about developing people, technology and creating new innovations to have a positive impact on this movement.”

 - Brad Nadalini, Team Manager, Western Solar Team

The team’s proudest moments include racing 2,800km through four US states – from Nebraska to Oregon - to win the American Solar Challenge in 2018. As the first Australian and international team to claim victory, Western’s team not only broke the University of Michigan’s 17 year winning streak, but then Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull took to Twitter to congratulate the team.  

Solar Car.

Western Sydney Solar Team winning the American Solar Challenge 2018.
Photo Credit (above image): Mike Walsh
Photo Credit (banner image): Chris Grundy

Showing further talent, the team successfully designed and
created the lightest registered solar-powered vehicle to date, at only 116.8kg,
at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2019.

The team were awarded sixth place in the Bridgestone World Solar
Challenge in 2017, competing against 50 teams including Stanford, Michigan
State and Cambridge Universities, to race over 3,000km through the desert from
Darwin to Adelaide.

Working in biennial cycles, the Solar team works to the goal
of competing in (and winning!) the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge which
takes place in Australia, usually held every second October. Unfortunately, the
2021 race has been cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

However, this is a team who carried their vehicle across
the finish line at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2019 after
a battle with Australia’s extreme weather conditions. 

Western Sydney Solar Car 2019.
Photo Credit: Sally Tsoutas 

Showing their usual determination and resilience, as one of the few Solar teams which manufactures and builds their car in-house, the team are currently designing and optimising a new car. While working on innovations and technologies that will improve their next car, they are looking forward to the next challenge in 2023. 

The generosity of donors like you can help support determined Western students working on innovative projects like Solar Car, encouraging future leaders to participate in elite global events, and work towards a sustainable future.

“We’re bridging that gap between innovation and getting to design new technologies… giving us the real-world experience to go with our degree is important.” Wendy, Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) student, Western Solar Team. 

Please donate today to support Western Solar Team.

“When you match enthusiasm, passion, commitment and  excellent infrastructure, wonderful things happen! The solar car team is a great example of how our excellent students and staff are coming together in a student-led project to innovate and create a solar car that will compete at the pinnacle of its class. The expectations are high, but the student team is magnificent!

I know they can achieve great things. I am grateful to all donors who are sharing our success. Make no mistake about this, we aim to compete and hopefully win…again!”

- Professor Mike Kagioglou, Dean, School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment and Pro Vice Chancellor, Global Development, Europe and UK, Western Sydney University

Published April 2021