Teamwork Leads To Solar Car Racing Team Success
The solar car racing team at New Paltz returned home elated last month after receiving the Teamwork Award in their first 1,100-mile American Solar Challenge. The race began in Cresson, Texas, on June 20 and finished in Chicago, on June 26. The competition included designing, building and driving solar-powered cars in a cross-country time/distance rally event.
Team advisor Michael Otis, an instructor in electrical and computer engineering, said that not only did the team do well just to qualify for the biggest international solar car racing event in the country, but they also placed 8th out of 17 teams, which included teams from Germany, Taiwan, Canada and large powerhouse programs such as The University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and Stanford University. “We were definitely the underdog,” said Otis.
Founded in 2007, the New Paltz Solar Car Team is sponsored by the New Paltz Student Association, School of Science and Engineering and local industries and businesses. The College’s electrical engineering program leads this student-run club. Students from other majors also are involved in the project to raise renewable energy awareness, raise money, market, research and develop solar-powered electric vehicles targeted for competition.
The club is lead by a president and several vice presidents who are responsible for keeping the effort on track. There are approximately 40 student club members, along with advisers for each leader of a department on the team.
Team organizer, Josh Fino, said that even more rewarding than finishing the event was earning the 2010 Specialty Teamwork Award.
“Teamwork is something which, even when people practice, can be elusive,” said Fino. “Teamwork, to anyone that has never experienced it, can be difficult to describe. We were a well-oiled machine. Each of us assumed specific roles and responsibilities suited to our unique strengths and we performed those roles without question and chaos to the fullest of our abilities.”
Members of the Solar Car Racing Team competing in the American Solar Car Challenge were:
• Jessica Abrams ’13 – Composite / Electrical
• Frank Cabe '12 – Composite /Driver
• Lee Cabe – Consultant
• Josu Cabruja ’11 – Mechanical / Driver
• Patrick Cody ’11 – Mechanical / Electrical
• Kira Cozzolino ’13 – Marketing / Fundraising / Project Management
• Joshua Fino ’10 – Organization / Coordination / Composite / Electrical
• Courtney Lia ’10 – Mechanical / Electrical
• Frank Ling ’12 – Composite / Iron Man(tires)
• Kevin Krummel ’10 – Composite / Driver
• John Mueller ’10 – Mechanical / Electrical
• Karen Ortiz ’12 – Electrical
• Benjamin Rounds ’11 – Design / Electrical / Mechanical
• Luke Stover ’12 – Composite / Mechanical / Driver
• Ray Williams ’12 – Mechanical
“To know that I was part of something so well organized and functional is something that I will never forget. And that feeling of everyone moving in harmony to accomplish what some said was impossible is empowering,” said Fino.
Special thanks to the MIT solar electric vehicle team for their support during this event.
To follow all the action of the New Paltz Solar Car Team, visit their blog at http://sunynewpaltzsolarcar.com/2101.html.