I am from Novi Michigan, and graduated with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering in December of 2008. As soon as I started at Michigan in the Fall of 2004, I joined the team and became extremely involved in the design of Momentum. The initial draw to the team was definitely the legacy and reputation of past Michigan teams. We were the almighty Michigan solar car team and, as we often said, we could do anything we wanted. We had a closely knit group of racecrew members including great leadership and the most attractive electronics team ever to have graced any team (Dmass and JKB). Team Mechanical, which has become their legendary call sign, consisted of Michael Adams, Brian Ignaut, Max Ross, Doug Lambert, and Myself. I think we can safely say that we dominated when it comes to getting the car prepared for both the 2005 NASC and the 2005 WSC. I attest it directly to our numeous hours in the shop with inspiration from Tenacious D., Ron Burgundy, and Team America.
My major rolls on the team included piloting the solar car and taking care of pretty much anything that didn’t involve electrons on the car. That year we won NASC by only 11 minutes (2500 mile race) after a bit of a challenging last day. We also took third in WSC after pretty much burning our batteries to the ground trying to keep up with Aurora and Nuon in the last stretch. Some of the best memories of Solar Car include Chuck Hutchins screaming the fight song from the top of the semi and the welcoming site of JKB’s grandparents at what felt like every single stop in the race. Traveling with the team to Australia and seeing the great support we have world wide is an experience that will stay with me forever.
Currently I am at Yale university finishing up a PhD in Robotics and Mechatronics. My thesis is centered on robotic prosthetic hand design and control for improved artificial limbs.
Every year I look back and am truly jealous that I am not on the race again. The team has made all of it’s alumni proud as it continues to build on the Michigan tradition of solar car teams. To the current team, “just remember, you set a new standard with every car you build and we are all proud.”