I joined the Solar Car Team in the first week of my freshman year, in 2009. They had Continuum on the N. Campus Diag, and I thought it was so cool. I just had to do it.
I started in mechanical and did a lot of other things. I actually did the brakes on Quantum. I got into race strategy and was the race strategist for Quantum in 2011 and the head strategist for the 2012 ASC.
The word got out about this race through the alumni grapevine right around the time I was supposed to hear where I would be stationed for a three-month training period for my job as a wireline field engineer for Slumber J. The three places they could have sent me were Siberia, Oklahoma or Abu Dhabi. I lucked out by getting assigned to Abu Dhabi, knowing that I would be there during the race.
The solar car bonds run deep. Some of my best friends are people I met on the team. Naturally we talk about solar car, probably too much; more than what’s a healthy amount at this stage in our lives. I’ve only worked with two or three of the alumni here, but how this multi-generational team has come together is really cool.
How many student groups have generations of alumni who can come together and work seamlessly because they have the same common experience and can immediately relate to each other? It’s amazing to see how the spirit lives on. It’s the same mentality across the years, which has been big part of our success. This team is made of people who were the leaders of their teams. Everyone understands what’s expected and what it takes to win.
It’s really special to be back at the track with Quantum again. The last time I raced with Quantum was in 2012, and I fully expected it to be retired. Then it comes back again in 2014 and wins another National Champtionship. Now this race—in a whole new continent, a place Michigan’s never raced before. It’s pretty wild, ground breaking maybe.
You really can’t watch solar car races. Quantum is going to be zipping around 1200 kilometers or so. I’ll have the live blog on my computer and be following that obsessively. This has been the best part of my day—coming back to solar car.
AJ Trublowski, BSE 13 Mechanical engineering