OSU Solar Vehicle Team
Building a Winning Team
The best part of joining the Oregon State University Solar Vehicle Team was getting to know the amazing individuals who made it a fun, rewarding, and supportive team environment. Building a highway-legal, solar-powered race car is a big challenge, but the right people make all the difference.
Few endeavors work out the way you plan. The ability to prepare for the unexpected and recover from setbacks can mean the difference between success and failure. Our first vehicle (the Odyssey) was destroyed in a battery fire in 2011. Because the emergency egress system worked exactly as expected, the driver (my brother) was able to escape unharmed. Less than 1 year later, we had built a new vehicle and were participating in a national competition.
Rise of the Phoenix
After the loss of the Odyssey, we took what we had learned about design and applied it to our next vehicle, the Phoenix. I am proud to have been a part of this inspiring story of determination and team spirit. We raced the Phoenix at the 2012 American Solar Challenge from New York to Minnesota.
Race to the Finish
Even though we did not take first place, it was worth every hardship to cross the finish line with my fellow teammates. We became a fan favorite throughout the event and made a lasting impression on the sport of solar vehicle racing. We even picked up a small kitten in Indiana and brought him along for the ride! Future team members would go on to race the Phoenix in the Abu-Dhabi Solar Challenge.
A large part of solar vehicle racing is the comradery between teams. During qualification tests at the start the American Solar Challenge, most teams are happy to lend a hand to those who are having technical difficulties or in need of equipment. At the end of the race, it is tradition to swap extra uniforms with other teams as keepsakes.