Joshua Agby | Mechanical Lead

Mechanical | Race Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering, Class of 2016

Detroit, MI

Joshua Agby is a junior in the College of Engineering double majoring in Mechanical and Computer Science Engineering. He had thought about joining the team since he was a freshman, and finally did the first semester of his junior year. As a member of the mechanical division, he helped design the mechanical systems for our newest car, and as sourcerer, he ensures all of our components are manufactured to spec and on time by working with sponsors both locally and across the country. Josh is extremely excited for the World Solar Challenge, and is determined to ensure Michigan brings the best car to the competition.


Leda Daehler | Head Strategist

Strategy | Race Strategist

Computer Science Engineering, Class of 2016

Portsmouth, OH

Leda Daehler is a junior in Computer Science Engineering and is the Head Strategist of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team. She joined as a strategist her sophomore year at Michigan and raced that summer in the 2014 American Solar Challenge, where the team took its 8th National Championship. She then led the strategy of the Michigan alumni team in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge this past January to assist UMSolar in earning their first international championship. Leda is excited to be racing the World Solar Challenge for the first time this October and can't wait to face the challenges this race will bring.


Arnold Kadiu | Engineering Director

Mechanical | Crew Chief

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

Canton, MI

Arnold was raised in the Metro Detroit area and showed an interest in cars and engineering from a young age. This interest drove him to pursue engineering at the University of Michigan. Arnold is now a senior in Mechanical Engineering. While in college he has participated actively on the University of Michigan Solar Car Team. He joined the team his fall semester as a freshman. In 2012 and 2013 his focus on the team was composite design, analysis and manufacturing of the 2013 Solar Car, Generation. In 2014 and 2015 his role was the Engineering Director of the team. His role was to ensure that the most competitive vehicle was designed and manufactured. He enjoys designing carbon fiber components, biking and running. He hopes to pursue a career in composite product development.

Ian Larson | Electrical Lead

Electrical | Race Electrical Engineer

Computer Engineering, Class of 2016

Potterville, MI

After a year of encouragement by his grandfather, Ian Larson joined the University of Michigan Solar Car Team as a sophomore in the fall of 2011. Starting off as a micro-electrical engineer, Ian's first race experience was as an electrical engineer for the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The following year, Ian took on the role of Crew Chief to help lead the team to it's 8th national title in the 2014 American Solar Challenge. For the 2015 project, Ian is the lead electrical engineer for the team, providing his experience to help design the car that brings home Michigan's first world championship.

Edina Lee | Business Lead

Business | Race Business and Operations 

Electrical Engineering, Class of 2017

Palo Alto, CA

Edina Lee is a sophomore in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan majoring in Electrical Engineering, and minoring in Environmental Engineering. She joined the team first semester of her freshman year after being introduced to it during her admissions visit before making the decision to become a wolverine. After a year on the micro-electrical division of the team, she raced the summer after her freshman year as an electrical engineer on the 2014 National Champion American Solar Challenge Race Crew. During her sophomore year, she became the team’s Business Lead after starting out with sponsorship through sourcing parts as an electrical engineer on the team.


Ryder Liu | Aerodynamics Lead 

Aerodynamics | Race Mechanical Engineer

BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2014

Santa Monica, CA

Ryder is the current Aerodynamics Lead and a recent graduate of Michigan’s Aerospace Engineering program. Hailing from sunny Santa Monica, California, Ryder is one of the team’s oldest members, bringing experience from three previous races in both the United States and Australia.


Pavan Naik | Project Manager 

Business |  Race Manager

Industrial and Operations Engineering, Class of 2016

Herndon, VA

Pavan Naik is majoring in Industrial and Operations Engineering and is the Project Manager of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team. He joined the team in 2012 because of the passion and competitiveness that fuels the team. Pavan's currently the main contact for external relations and big partners. He's raced in the 2013 World Solar Challenge, the 2014 American Solar Challenge, and the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge and is fired up for the upcoming World Solar Challenge!

Shihaab Punia | Interim Project Manager

Operations | Race Business and Operations 

Computer Engineering, Class of 2018

Katy, TX

A big reason for Shihaab's decision to come to the University of Michigan all the way from a Houston suburb was the Solar Car team, despite the huge change in climate: he was willing to trade the Texas heat for the Michigan snow (something his high school friends can't fathom). Shihaab knew that he wanted to get involved as early as possible, so he joined the team as a freshman in the fall of 2014. On the team, he works in Race Operations and Business, which involves the logistics of international sea and air shipping, workspace management both in the US and Australia, and support vehicles for races. Shihaab will return in Fall of 2015 to lead the team as Interim Project Manager. As Interim PM, he will design and implement a system to train new recruits and introduce them to the wonders of solar car racing.

Ben Alburtus

Mechanical | Race Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

Portage, MI

Ben Alburtus is from Portage, Michigan and is a freshman in the College of Engineering. After participating in design and build competitions throughout high school, he decided to continue pursuing engineering beyond the classroom, on a real-world and rigorous project. Working as a mechanical design engineer throughout the school year, and now as a mechanical member of the race crew, he is eager to race in the upcoming 2015 World Solar Challenge. Thus far he has aided in the design of suspension and steering components, and is now focusing on manufacturing and minor design changes for the final vehicle.  Following the 2015 race, he hopes to continue as a member of the team and aid in designing and building the teams’ next vehicle.


Perry Benson

Mechanical | Race Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

Grand Haven, MI

Perry Benson is a freshman in the College of Engineering interested in multidisciplinary design and team problem solving. After participating in STEM events in High School and discovering a strong passion for competition, and personal and professional development, he was eager to get involved with the University's Solar Car Team. He works as a member of the mechanical engineering division, specializing in electrical integration and 3D printed components. After a year working towards competing in the 2015 World Solar Challenge, he intends to continue his involvement as a part of race crew and as a committed member of the team during his remaining time as an undergraduate student.


Jonathan Cha

Operations | Race Operations 

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

San Ramon, CA

Jonathan Cha is a first-year student at the University of Michigan and majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He discovered the team when researching different universities to apply to. He is the first student from his hometown high school in San Ramon, California to become a Wolverine. He joined the team at the beginning of his freshman year and became a member of the Operations division. He is currently a part of the 2015 Race Crew who will be competing in Australia in the World Solar Challenge.


Clayton Dailey

Aerodynamics | Race Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

Mililani, HI

Clayton Dailey is a freshman in the College of Engineering. Since being born he has lived in ten different places because his dad is a pilot for the Coast Guard. Clayton went through all four years of high school in Hawaii but now lives right outside of New Orleans. Participating in VEX and FIRST robotics sparked his interest in engineering and design teams. Clayton learned of the team from browsing the university's website. After taking a look at the other design teams during Festifall, the annual club fair at the University, he decided Solar Car was the team for him. Clayton is now an Aerodynamicist for the team and is part of the 2015 Race Crew's Mechanical Division. Fun fact: he can ride a unicycle.


Michael Katz

Electrical | Race Electrical Engineer

Computer Science Engineering, Class of 2018

Gaithersburg, MD

Michael Katz is a freshman engineering student at the University of Michigan and is majoring in Computer Science. He graduated from the Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair High School in 2014 and is now proud to be a wolverine. Michael is passionate about multidisciplinary design and the Solar Car Team is the perfect fusion of different science and engineering fields. Michael is honored to be an Electrical Engineer on the 2015 University of Michigan World Solar Car Challenge Race Crew and is ready to race!

Jiahong Min

Aerodynamics | Race Mechanical

BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2015

Shanghai, China

Jiahong Min is a recent graduate from the department of Aerospace Engineering. The excitement and challenge involved in solar car racing motivated him to travel half of the Earth, from his hometown in Shanghai, China to Ann Arbor to be an aerodynamic engineer on the team. He joined the team in his junior year and raced in 2014 American Solar Challenge as a mechanic. Jiahong is specialized in aerodynamics design and class-A surfacing. He hopes that his hard work will ensure the team’s new car to be not only the most aerodynamic but also the best looking one under the Australian sun.


Tyler Osterhoff

Electrical | Race Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineering, Class of 2018

Northville, MI

Tyler Osterhoff is a freshman in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan majoring in Electrical Engineering. Ever since the team showed their car to his 5th grade class, he knew he wanted to join. He worked his hardest to get accepted into the University of Michigan and become part of America's number one solar car team. When he joined the team in the fall of 2014, he began working on the solar array as part of the power-electrical team. After a semester of learning about and designing solar arrays for the car, he was accepted onto the 2015 Race Crew's Electrical Division.


Rob Swor

Strategy | Race Strategist

Computer Science Engineering, Class of 2017

Beverly Hills, MI

Rob is a sophomore studying Computer Science Engineering at the University of Michigan. He was first introduced to the team in early 2013, when a longtime friend who raced Generation told him all about the team. Rob joined the team in his first semester at Michigan, and spent his first year on the team as a member of the Aerodynamics division, though in his second year he decided Computer Science was a better fit for him and switched to Strategy. He fulfills the role of the team's Simulator Man, whose most prominent job is to break the simulator even more. Rob is also the team's resident Wylie E. Groves grad.

Denny Zhang 

Electrical | Race Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineering, Class of 2017

Troy, MI

Denny has been on the team since his freshman year and joined because of the inherent awesomeness of solar cars. He raced last year in the 2014 American Solar Challenge as a driver of Quantum, helping the team win its 8th national championship. Usually he can be found in the workspace tinkering with electronics, and sometimes breaking things in the name of progress. Currently he is busy designing and building this year's new electrical systems and is excited to be going to Australia in just a few short months. 

photo by  epik studios

photo by epik studios

Prof. Neil Dasgupta

Faculty Advisor

Neil Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and faculty advisor of the UM Solar Car Team. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2011. Prior to joining University of Michigan in 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the recipient of a U. S. Department of Energy EERE Postdoctoral Research Award (SunShot Fellowship), the AVS Student Award for Best Graduate Research in ALD, and a Stanford Graduate Fellowship. His research focuses on the intersection of nanotechnology, manufacturing, and energy conversion.

photo by  epik studios

photo by epik studios

Umesh Patel

Faculty Advisor

Umesh Patel is Senior Director, Business Engagement, at the University of Michigan and works closely with companies to engage them in the University's research, education, and service missions. Mr. Patel came to the University from consulting firm Accenture, where he was a Senior Manager managing business process and technology change for a diverse group of global 500 corporations and government clients. Prior to joining Accenture, Mr. Patel was a Design Engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he designed and developed electrical control equipment. Mr. Patel holds an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University (note: despite his Buckeye roots, Mr. Patel is married to a U-M alumna and the proud parent of twin daughters both attending U-M).