Guest Blog: Adam Zehel from the Business Engagement Center

The University of Michigan’s Solar Car Team is recognized as the most successful team in North America, and this year marks their 25th anniversary. As they celebrate past success, they are also getting ready for the 2015 World Solar Challenge this fall in Australia. With the help from faculty and corporate sponsors, the student-run, Solar Car Team designs and builds a solar electric vehicle every two years. The solar car, which can cost more than 1.2 million dollars, is funded, designed, and built by a multidisciplinary team of engineering, arts, business, and science students.

The Solar Car Team provides students with a hands-on experience working with solar-electric vehicles. Sponsors work closely with the team and enjoy access to a physical test bed to experiment with new technologies and approaches, while interacting with outstanding students. Working with and supporting the team gives your organization access to a great source of proven multidisciplinary talent. “Because of how closely we work with our Platinum- and Gold-level sponsors, most of our team members have begun their careers working for these companies after graduation,” says Pavan Naik, the Solar Car Team’s project manager. “In fact, our sponsors are often the first companies team members consider when pursuing internships or full-time opportunities.” 

"Ford Motor Company finds great value sponsoring the Solar Car team and other auto and non-auto related U-M student teams. These students have shown a willingness to go beyond and above their rigorous classroom education and develop technical understanding relevant to our industry and important leadership and teamwork skills. It's an honor to sponsor and assist these impressive students in their remarkable and highly successful efforts," Ed Krause (B.S.E. 86’, M.S.E. 87’), Global Manager, External Alliances, Ford Motor Company.

With the help and support of corporate partners, the team is getting close to their goal of becoming the best in the world. They offer a variety of different sponsorship levels for both financial and in-kind support. Gain exposure and enhance your brand by having your logo featured on the car as the team creates new frontiers in alternative energy and sustainable engineering. The team plans to reveal their new car in June of this year, so there is still time to help this world renowned team make their mark on the global stage!

Adam Zehel, Marketing and Data Assistant, Business Engagement Center

The University of Michigan’s Business Engagement Center is the pathway connecting dynamic organizations with remarkable talent and resources. We inspire successful collaboration and act as a catalyst to create meaningful, invaluable partnerships. We connect the world’s brightest minds with the world’s greatest companies, sparking innovation and change through collaboration.