WSU Solar Car Team Wins American Solar Challenge
Western Sydney University has won the American Solar Challenge (ASC), becoming the first international and first Australian solar car team to win the competition.
The team won an impressive four out of five stages of the gruelling 2800km Challenge – a global race which sees impressive international university competitors travel across four US states from Nebraska to Oregon.
School Manager of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at WSU, Michael Walsh, says the achievement is incredible – especially considering the University’s small team.
“Most teams had about 20 to 30 people. Western Sydney University had a small team of just 14, making the win even more amazing. The race was also physically gruelling for the Western student, alumni and volunteers involved in making sure the car was ready to race each day.
“Successfully completing the American Solar Challenge is a hugely rewarding accomplishment and has required over a year of intense focus and hard work from every team that enters the race,” says Michael Walsh.
The team clocked up 1700 miles in their car, UNLIMITED 2.0, racing each day from 9am- 6pm and then performing maintenance and charging the vehicle each night – leaving little time to sleep.
The heat, dust, steep mountain climbs, narrow canyons and hurtling descents also proved no problem for the WSU Solar Car Team, who only lost one stage of the race to the University of Michigan due to a flat tyre and electrical issues.
The Western Sydney University Solar Car Team was well equipped for the challenge – having recently competed in a 3,000km trek from Darwin to Adelaide as part of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) in October 2017.
At Western Sydney University, the Solar Car Team is a student-led project. The Team is comprised of students from the fields of Engineering, ICT, Industrial Design and Visual Communications who manage every aspect of the production and design of the vehicle as well as sponsorships, marketing and the administrative elements of their involvement in challenges. The team is supported by the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics (SCEM).
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