Ever since his very first look at M-Pulse before coming to Michigan at an engineering intro day in the spring of 2002, David Masselink knew that solar car was the team for him. At that event he was able to talk to a few power electrical engineers and from there, Masselink had made up his mind to attend the first mass meeting on North campus that fall. Masselink immediately joined the team as a micro-electrical engineer where he was able to work on Momentum from start to finish as the Micro-Electrical Team Leader.
Since his time within solar car, Masselink has had plenty of opportunities within the automotive and clean energy industry.
“Throw in an internship I had in Semiconductor industry and my time dealing with processors as a team member and it’s safe to say that there is very little of my life that hasn’t stemmed from my time on the team.”
Just this past year Masselink moved to Mountain View, CA where he was able to start a Software and Embedded Systems consulting company, Elevated Systems, in which focuses on building the tools to make clean energy most cost effective, simpler to install, monitor, and maintain.
As many alumni would agree, there are just some memories of solar car that just can’t be forgotten. For Masselink, nothing can top the excitement of the last day of NASC in 2005. Although most of it was a blur – with the scare of penalties, the neck to neck racing with Minnesota, and craziness of damaged fairings there was little that made the day thrilling.
“The most memorable days, however, were as a part of the route survey team at the end of 2004. Myself, Robert Vogt, Mirai Aki, Dave Mazur, and Jeff Rogers all loaded into a minivan and drove a few thousand miles across the continent, in the freezing cold, with the goal of making it back home in about a week. As we know well from being members of the solar car team, being so close to any small group of people will bring out something special… and a little bit weird. I know we all have great memories from that trip and I’m sure we’ve all got some odd memories that are a part of being cramped in a minivan with four other guys for days on end.”
The memories and experience of solar car left a lasting impression on Masselink as he can safely say he misses what being on the team is all about.
“I miss seeing the sexy cars on a day-to-day basis, but even more than that, I miss being inspired and surprised by my team mates each and every day. Also, during the race, at checkpoints, we’d get to interact with the public pretty frequently. While it wasn’t always exciting to stand by a stationary car and answer the same questions again and again, the excitement and awe on the faces of many of the people I talked with was wholly worth it.”
Now, as a former member, Masselink believes there is no denying that the teams since 2005 have raised the bar again and again. From the concentrators in 2007 to Quantum itself, the recent teams have done things that he has never even dreamed of doing as a member.
“Quantum, if it’s not the best hope for us Wolverines in WSC so far, I’m not quite sure what is. I’m so excited for this race and I’ve got a good feeling that this year, WSC will GO BLUE!”