A Flair for Solar Engineering

Jul 10, 2014

The 2014 Sunseeker Solar car, built by WMU engineering students.
Credit Western Michigan University

A group of Western Michigan University engineering students will carry forth a bright tradition this Saturday.

They’ll head to Austin, Texas, for the races – the solar car races. And they’ll mark 25 years since WMU students built the university's first solar car.

Before it leaves the Sunseeker, as the car is known, will make a “celebratory lap” around the WMU engineering campus during the Miller Energy Criterium bike race.

Once in Austin, if the current solar car model is deemed safe the team will proceed to a three-day race on a closed-course track – Formula Sun.

Then they’ll compete against other schools as they drive the Sunseeker more than 1700 miles to Minneapolis.

WMUK’s Sehvilla Mann spoke with one of the team’s drivers, third-year engineering student Joel Thompson, about why he expects the Sunseeker to shine this year.