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 2017 Formula Sun Grand Prix (Austin, TX)
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 is 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 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.
Bailey is currently the Vice President of the team. Joining the team in the fall of 2016, he quickly became a crutial member of the team. He has tackled all areas of the car. This summer he got new Tritium motor controllers installed on Mercury 5s, installed a new dash, and rewired the solar array. He was one of the four drivers at FSGP 2017. He is also one of the team members helping with the design of Mercury 6. He also travelled with the team on the 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour.
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 Aero Lead. He hopes to become a high school math teacher upon graduation.
Andrew joined the team in the fall of 2016. He doesn't have a specific role, but he does lots of stuff and thangs. Andrew is getting a double major in physics and mathematics, and will be a Sophomore in the upcoming 2017 school year. He looks forward to building and racing ISU's newest solar car, Mercury 6.
Alex joined the team in the Spring of 2017. Quickly becoming involved, he has earned the title of one of the four solar car drivers after participating in the 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour. He is majoring in information technology. This past spring, he helped out with odds and ends to prepare Mercury 5s for the FSGP race this July. He hopes to learn more about what goes into building a solar car next year.
Dan joined the team in the Fall of 2017. He is majoring in physics. Past experiences make him a good fit on the mechanical team. He was one of the four drivers at this summer's FSGP. He looks forward competing and building Mercury 6.
Charlie will be the solar array lead for Mercury 6. He joined the team in the Spring of 2017. His first project was to learn how to solder solar cells and encapsulate panels. He is pursuing a degree in Renewable Energy with a minor in Environment Studies.
Andrew also join the team in Spring of 2017. He quickly took an interest in the mechanical aspect of the car. Jim has taught him the basics of welding. He is majoring in Business Administration. He travelled with the team to FSGP 2017. Next year he will be a Senior. He wants to be involved in multiple aspects while building Mercury 6.
Richard joined the team in Spring of 2016. While he does not have a specific role, you can find him helping with anything he can. He is majoring in physics. Richard went with the team to the FSGP this summer. He is looking forward to starting work on Mercury 6, the newest car.
Dr. Holland has been involved with the team since its inception in 2005 as well as he is our financial advisor and department sponsor from the Physics Department. At ISU he serves as the department chair for the Physics Department, and for the team he serves as whatever he can get involved in. He has always been there for sound advice for the team and is the first one to raise his hand to volunteer to drive the scout vehicle for the ASC. His experience in computational physics also means he steps in to help with the design of the vehicle from a mechanical standpoint in order to verify that the design will hold up to the physical stresses placed upon it. His work can be seen in all of our design documents as he is always willing to run numbers for the team.
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.