The Illinois State University Solar Car Team aims to offer a unique learning experience for students interested in science, engineering, and technology as well as to provide an educational program to demonstrate the benefits of alternative energy to Illinois State University and neighboring communities. We plan to continue competing in races across North America and the world as a way to test and improve our skills and promote a greener future.
The American Solar Challenge is a cross-country road race allowing students to test their vehicles to their full potential. This year’s race spans over 1900 miles from Brecksville, OH to Hot Springs, SD in the span of 7 days. This is a true race that takes place every other year.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix is a three day track event held on some of the most beautiful tracks around the country. This style of racing tests the overall capabilities of the vehicle including handling, braking, and efficiency. Teams must be strategic during this race in-order to obtain the most laps possible by the end of the three days
The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge is a competition which brings together universities from across the globe in order to design, build and drive solar-powered cars across Abu Dhabi.
5th Place in 2016 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Wampum, PA)
3rd Place in 2015 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Austin, TX)
2nd Place in the 2013 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Austin, TX)
7th Place in the 2012 American Solar Challenge (New York – Minnesota)
4th Place in the 2012 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Monticello, NY)
2nd Place in the 2011 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Indianapolis, IN)
The Illinois State University Solar Car Team is a student-led organization that designs, builds, and races solar vehicles against teams from around the world. We consist of a multidisciplinary team of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty who volunteer time and energy to advance their skills and the promise of renewable energy. We have successfully built five solar vehicles and are currently designing our next generation car.
Brian currently the President of the team he joined the team in the fall of 2014 and has been a key member of the team ever since. His role on the team has been both administrative and hands on, with him serving as part of the financial council, where he helps write proposals to various organizations to help the team find sponsorships. He also spends many hours working hands on with the team. He was also crucial in the creation of the carbon-fiber body of Mercury 5s as he was the only member of the team to be present for every single layup. He hopes in the future to learn the other aspects that go into building a solar car.
Keith is majoring in Math Education and minoring in Engineering Education. Keith has been a part of the team since he begun at ISU in the fall of 2014. Last semester, he helped with many odds and ends with the car, learning as much as possible along the way. Despite his busy class schedule, he is currently in the process of creating a telemetry system utilizing Arduino microcontrollers to help the team with race day decisions. He hopes to become a high school math teacher upon graduation.
Nick serves as the "go-to-guy" for the team. He originally joined the team in fall 2013 as the CNC machinist where he created the hubs and uprights of Mercury V. Nick has skills in almost every aspect when it comes to building a solar car including carbon fiber layups, electrical, and machining. For the last few years Nick has been the "chief comrade in charge" but this year has stepped down as president to focus on passing along knowledge to new future solar car members. In December of 2016 he will graduated with a Masters degree in Project Management.
Jim has been the shop advisor for the team since it was founded in 2005, and along the way he has learned a great deal but also taught many students. He is an expert machinist and a wizard with CAD software, making him a great asset to the team. Jim is well known for taking new members of the team and giving them their first formal project. He is also the person who does almost all of the design work for every element of this car, and without him this team would not be as rock solid mechanically as it has been. Although he works hard, he also lightens the mood in the shop by baking cookies quite often in a toaster oven he keeps down in the shop.