Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

News

Solar Car Team Wins 7th National Championship

Posted: August 13, 2012

Solar Car Team Wins 7th National Championship

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team won its 7th national championship this summer with the largest margin of victory in the history of the American Solar Challenge.
Jordan Feight, an AOSS student starting his senior year, is race manager. He spent his first two years forecasting daily weather for the team. 
Feight says being race manager “is a huge change. When you’re on the race crew there’s a lot of technical aspects. You’re really getting your hands dirty.”
Indeed, when the team stopped at Michigan Stadium during the race, Feight barely had time for lunch because he was working underneath the car, Quantum.
Quantum has a unique design. At first glance you may not realize it is a car, and you certainly may wonder how the driver fits inside. It looks like a long, reflective tabletop attached to two small wheels, with a pod towards the back for the driver. Quantum weighs about 320 pounds, 200 pounds lighter than the last solar car.
To win, the team had to make sure the car was not only light and aerodynamic, but that it was driven correctly. They use mathematical models to predict vehicle performance. Feight’s experience in class prepared him for this challenge.
“I’ve learned a lot of MATLAB, which we use a lot on the team for simulating things.”
The team has already begun building their next vehicle. AOSS can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Latest Headlines