IMRA’s support and donations to the University of Michigan Solar Car Team over the past eight years were crucial to the team’s second place finish in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge across the Australian outback this past October, and to our ability to race in the 2018 American Solar Challenge this summer.
As a team that’s driven by technology, we are always happy to receive support from companies that see the value in pushing technology and doing something new. For our fourteenth generation car, the team decided to make a leap and use a state-of-the-art, space grade, multi-junction gallium arsenide array. This solar array is not only highly efficient, but also very expensive. Novum would have remained a UM Solar Car dream without the multi-junction array, which we could not have purchased if not for IMRA. “Without IMRA’s support, Novum would not have been financially viable,” 2017 Race Crew member and the team’s resident financial wizard, Neil Jain, explains. If we hadn’t built a car as aerodynamic as Novum, it is unlikely we would have gotten the amazing result of a best-ever finish by a University of Michigan Team, so we were excited to be able to take Novum out of our Computer Aided Designs and onto the road with the help of IMRA.
IMRA has continually supported UM Solar at every turn, helping us make connections in industries that have greatly benefited the team. Our 2017 Project Manager, Jonathan Cha, emphasizes our valuable relationship with IMRA: “Our team and IMRA have shared an almost decade-long relationship. We’re both located in Ann Arbor and share a similar passion in innovative technologies. Even though we have different focuses, between high-powered lasers and solar-powered vehicles, IMRA has supported us and our endeavours in the American and Bridgestone World Solar Challenges. Our team is grateful for IMRA’s continuous contributions and friendship. Without it, the students who have been on this team would not have had the amazing experiences and opportunities they have today.” We always love working with IMRA, we can’t thank IMRA enough for all that they have done for us, and we’re looking forward to working with them more in the future!