The Engineering Division creates everything from the circuit boards to the motor to the shell. Here, the members of the Solar Vehicle Project apply the lessons learned in the classroom to a physical project, ultimately developing the car. The Engineering Division works with faculty at the University of Minnesota as well as industry advisors from our sponsors to learn from their experience and incorporate their wisdom in the designs.
Controls and Features
Controls and Features Group is responsible for creating and integrating systems in the interior of the car. These systems provide the practicality expected in a consumer car; careful consideration is given to everything we develop and include. Controls and Features Group predominantly consists of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and works closely with our DesignU members. Controls and Features is a good fit for students that want to be challenged by electrical systems and focus on the user experience of our car.
Strategy Group is responsible for optimizing the performance of the team during the American Solar Challenge and the World Solar Challenge races. Strategy's main goal is to determine how fast the solar car should travel during the race in order to balance power usage and energy efficiency while still finishing as quickly as possible. The team works closely with all Engineering Groups to determine their best strategy, making this a great place for students interested in problem solving, data analysis, or other engineering applications.
Upper Body Group encompasses all of the structural aspects of the car. Several disciplines work in Upper Body to design and build everything integrated into the body of the car. With the Upper Body Group, students gain experience working with CAD and simulation software, for the best build quality possible in our custom car. Upper Body Group is looking for students interested in these aspects of the Solar Vehicle Project.
Vehicle Dynamics Group focuses on the moving components of the solar car. This group is responsible for designing and building everything from the steering to the wheels; Vehicle Dynamics ensures that our car performs optimally. These students are typically studying Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, but Vehicle Dynamics wants students of all talents to help make our car run.
The Operations Division is responsible for managing the Solar Vehicle Project's outreach, keeping the organization present in our community, and for tracking the financial health of the organization. The Operations Division plans everything from the World Solar Challenge logistics to Corporate Outreach during the career fair. This division manages the resources of the organization to ensure its longevity.
Events Group is responsible for organizing events for our organization. This team works closely with the Marketing Group for outreach events and with the Strategy Group for Race Planning. Events Group is looking for leaders with a knack for bringing people together.
Finance Group creates a budget and ensures that the development and competition of our Solar Car adheres to it. To do so, they approve purchases and manage inventory. They also manage funds from the University and our sponsors. Finance Group needs students of any discipline interested in the financial operations of a nonprofit organization.
Marketing Group is responsible for distributing familiarity with our organization. From Social Media to Sponsor Presentations, they develop and distribute the materials that expose our work to new people and inform on our mission. Marketing Group works closely with all Engineering Groups to ensure the materials are accurate and in-depth. Marketing Group hopes to find students interested in developing and carrying out marketing strategies on all of its teams or designing materials for use in promotion.