We, at CUER, are students striving to create the best solar-powered racing vehicles in the world using cutting edge technology and working with world-leading experts. Since our founding in 2007, we have been the UK’s number one for solar vehicle development and we now work with industrial partners around the world. We are a not-for-profit organisation that is mainly funded through corporate sponsorship to educate not only Cambridge students but also the general public and also develop new technologies for sustainable transport.
Every two years, we compete in the World Solar Challenge, the world’s foremost solar endurance race, held in Australia. Our racing cars showcase cutting-edge sustainable engineering and demonstrate the incredible potential of electric vehicle technologies. By designing a car to run on solar power alone, we are driving the step changes in vehicle efficiency and new technologies for a low-carbon future.
Our team mission is to inspire as well as innovate. This leads us to undertake many outreach programs, both nationally and internationally. We have recently attended the London e-Prix, the Gadget Show Live and the IDTechEx Show in Berlin and run an outreach programme with local schools and education organisations in Cambridge.
Join the Team
We are always looking for motivated, proactive and passionate students at Cambridge University to join all areas of our team as we define our plans for further success at the World Solar Challenge in 2019. A new cycle is a great chance to reflect on what we have achieved and see where we can go next. There are so many possibilities and you can help to steer the direction of the next WSC campaign.
There are a huge variety of roles available, from media and business through to concept development and vehicle analysis, so there really is something for everyone. If you are interested in joining the team or want to find out more, please email email@example.com.
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Team 2017
Core Team 2016/17
As the Technical Manager of the team, I have overall responsibility for the design of our 2017 race vehicle. This involves a large amount of systems integration, managing the interfaces between components and making sure we don't have a wheel and a solar panel in exactly the same place! Moving towards WSC 2017, I will also oversee our testing and driver training programmes, as well as the race team in Australia. In all aspects of what I do, it's truly an honour to be managing such capable and driven people!
As Project Manager, I oversee the team’s work, both technical and non-technical to ensure that we have everything in place for a successful WSC 2017 and beyond. My key responsibilities include planning the manufacture of our new race vehicle, ensuring that we are on track with the overall plan and facilitating work within the team. I enjoy this role as it offers the opportunity to work on a variety of projects with all sub-teams. I enjoy seeing the big-picture of the team, as it’s incredibly rewarding to see so many fellow students working towards such an amazing and unique project!
I’m a second year engineer at Corpus Christi College. As Business Manager, I oversee our relationships with sponsors to make sure both parties get the most out of it. I love the can-do team spirit of CUER, the freedom to think up and take forward your own ideas, and the unique opportunities it provides for students (think exhibiting at Formula E, meeting the Queen, going to Silicon Valley). I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of our labour pay off in Australia, and seeing what lessons we can take forward to make the 2018/19 race season even better.
As Secretary and PR Manager I am responsible for keeping the team’s public image positive and professional. I enjoy this role because it allows me to discover what the entire team gets up to both at a detailed, and more general level; whether this is changes to the braking system, or securing the latest sponsorship agreement. As an architecture student, not an engineer, I aim to hold a more conceptual understanding of how the team is perceived, and how through communication channels such as social media or other visual engagements, we are able to convey the team in the best possible light. I look forward to my time in the role, and I’m excited to see how CUER will change and develop.
I have been with the team for 4 years, starting in the former “logistics” subteam and generally staying in the operations side of our activities as part of the more recent “events & ops” subteam. I have helped the team run and attend many events, managed most of our facilities, improved our health and safety provisions, and helped with the logistics of WSC in 2015. I only recently joined the Leadership subteam, as I am now coordinating the logistics of the team's effort in going to, and competing in Australia in 2017. I look forward to giving the team the best chance of winning the WSC.
As the Events and Operations Manager, I am responsible for organising both internal and external events and coordinate logistics. The role involves a diverse range of tasks, this can include arranging to attend an external exhibition, preparing the car for international freight, deciding the menu for a sponsor’s dinner or clearing out a workshop full of equipment! Currently in my second year as an engineer from Clare College, I have enjoyed working in a non-technical role on the team as the diversity of E&O keeps everything interesting.
I'm one of two Co-Heads of the Mechanical Team. My remit is the rolling chassis, which includes the teams working on the chassis, suspension, steering and brakes. These areas are critical for the safety of the driver and also the handling and performance of the vehicle. I really enjoy teaching some of the newer members of the team and developing their skills. This year has been rewarding to see the car and students alike develop their full potential.
I’m a 4th year Mechanical Engineer at Emmanuel College. As Co-Head of Mechanical, I have been developing the various mechanisms and attachment points that keep the car ticking over. I’m a big fan of a hands-on approach and getting my team to prototype systems to validate their design concepts. Designing mechanical systems to fit into tight spaces, building structural parts to hold things together, and integrating with all the other systems– while always keeping an eye out for the weight – means I come up against a huge range of engineering challenges, which is something that I love about CUER.
I am a third-year student from Gonville and Caius College studying Manufacturing Engineering Technology. Having joined as a fresher I became seriously involved with the team last year and since then have been lucky enough to go through some amazing experiences, such as our success in the European Solar Challenge and CUER meeting the Queen at the International Festival of Business. This race cycle I will be heading up our manufacturing effort, co-ordinating the needs of the sub-teams and helping to bring everything together to build our next race vehicle.
I lead the aerodynamics team to develop an efficient outer shell for our car that meets all the requirements of both the WSC regulations and all subsystems of our car. In light of some favourable regulation changes, we hope to refine the aerodynamic performance to suit some of the on-going concepts that set our car apart as well as to innovate in new areas. I have been responsible for the aerodynamic aspects of our car since the start of this cycle and worked to instil consistency and rigour to our method.
As the Chief Electrical Engineer this year, I lead the electrical team alongside Zi. My role is to develop a deep technical understanding of all of the electrical and electronic systems of the car by being heavily involved in the design, development and implementation of these systems. I also help train newer members of the team in skills such as soldering and PCB design. I enjoy the opportunity to both develop and share my technical skills and knowledge whilst working on the interesting design challenges involved in projects like designing and implementing a completely new battery management system.
I am a third year Engineer at Clare College and am the core team member responsible for thermal management. Since the 2016 summer design team, I have been working on a consolidated thermal management system including venting of cooling flows, aerodynamic optimisation and electrical integration. Our new initiative will see accelerated development in our new generation solar car concept and EV technology, and I am excited to be working on these advanced systems, engaging with outreach and expanding our support base. Working with CUER has been a fantastic experience and I look forward to the challenges ahead.
My name is Zi and I am a third year engineer at Magdalene College. I am the current Electrical Team Leader for the 2017 race cycle. My role involves ensuring that project deadlines are met for the various electrical subsystems, resolving integration issues and ultimately, to make sure that we have a competitive and reliable car when it rolls onto the starting line. Through my involvement with the team, I have been fortunate to have been able to liaise with our technical sponsors who bring a wealth of experience and an industry perspective when designing the electrical systems within the car. It has been an exciting journey with the team and I will be doing my best to ensure a strong finish in the 2017 World Solar Challenge.
Summer Design Team 2016
I am a 1 st year Engineer from Downing College, and I am excited to be working on the solar array, more specifically on a mechanism that will allow the driver to quickly deploy the solar cells into a position to optimise their output during the control stops. Changes in regulations only allowing the driver to set up the array mean that the mechanism needs to be designed in order to make the task as quick and simply as possible. With the many control stops over the duration of the race these small benefits will add up.
I’m a first year undergraduate studying Engineering at Pembroke College and I’m really looking forward to working on the Electronic Driver Interface Project. The focus of this project is based on creating a simple and intuitive system to allow the driver to control the systems of the car with ease, such as the regenerative braking system. A display system is also an integral part of this project, and this display will provide the driver with important information, such as factors regarding the efficiency of the car as well as error messages.
I am working on the Telemetry and Strategy Project within the CUER Summer Design Team. The telemetry system is used for monitoring the current condition of the vehicle and its response to the everchanging surroundings. The information collected is paramount for making the right decisions on what needs to be done to enhance the performance of the vehicle, ultimately affecting the choice of the race strategy. The overall aim of my project is to develop a new telemetry system to be integrated into the next generation of the vehicle, and to ensure its robustness, versatility and maintainability, while still keeping it user-friendly.
The Summer Design Team 2016 was a group of 12 undergraduates who took on 10-week research projects in order to get the majority of the design for the 2017 competition vehicle completed during the summer vacation. Each student worked with an academic supervisor at the Engineering Department and was supported, both financially and with expertise, by a specific company with experience in the relevant area.
Core Team 2015/16
As the first full-time Programme Director of CUER it is my job to oversee the entire project and also set a precedent for future full-time team members. I am involved in all aspects of the project but my main responsibility is to work on the long-term development of the team while also ensuring the day-to-day success. I particularly enjoy this role as it gives the chance to scope out opportunities for the team and guide the direction for the future. I am also very proud and privileged to work alongside such driven students with the guidance of many experienced mentors.
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015 Team
Our race team is made up from a selection of current students, and alumni from the University of Cambridge. Team members come from many different faculties across the university, with each member contributing a unique set of skills to the team. When combined together, this creates a well rounded and versatile team, putting us in the best position for the World Solar Challenge.
Core Team 2014-15
The team in 2014-15, many of whom came through the Summer Design Team, set CUER up for its greatest success at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2015. They also reached the milestone of securing support for CUER's first ever full-time Programme Director.
Summer Design Team 2014
The Summer Design Team was established as a biennial group who work over the summer to kickstart the beginning of each race cycle, by developing a concept for the next generation of our car for the new team to continue work in the following Michaelmas term.Team
2012 - 2013
In June 2012, Keno Mario-Ghae took over the team. The 2013 World Solar Challenge were released requiring 4 wheels, better driver visibility and increasingly designed-in safety features such as driver headspace and the team began exploring ways to take advantage of opportunities in the new regulations.
The team worked remotely over the summer, iterating day by day until narrowing down on the concept that became Resolution. Resolution has an aerodynamic tear drop shop combined with a large transparent canopy at the rear under which, an innovative solar tracking plate follows the sun as it moved across the sky, increasing the overall energy input. Resolution’s philosophy was to decouple the aerodynamic and solar performance, avoiding the compromise that is often made between the two.
Resolution’s 2013 entry was launched by Teena Gade at the London Science Museum with guests including Sir Paul Judge. A few days before Scrutineering, whilst testing at motorway speeds on a public road in Australia, the team had an accident in which Resolution turned over onto its side, slid off the road and down an embankment. The driver was not hurt.
Though a great effort was made to fix the car, it was deemed unsafe without sufficient time to investigate fully and the team withdrew from the World Solar Challenge. Subsystems such as tracking and solar concentrators were tested independently to gain knowledge for future teams, but Resolution only drove in the starting ceremony and final parade.
2011 - 2012
Following the World Solar Challenge in 2011, Emil was succeeded by Mark Nicholson who would lead the first half of what would become the team’s most audacious race cycle. Supported by the Advisory Board and inspired by high performance recumbent bikes Mark led the 2013 race cycle team towards a radically different design philosophy; small, lightweight and aerodynamically efficient design. The team worked in secret on a solar powered motorbike, codenamed Christine, of which they built and tested an early prototype electric bike with stabilisers up to 30 mph. Strategic partners and sponsors were brought on board during this cycle to help with the effort including the National Composites Centre.
2009 - 2011
Following the World Solar Challenge 2009, Anthony was succeeded by Pip Walters who lead the first half of a two year development. Over the next two years, the team continued redesigning and refining Endeavour, resulting in a car with much improved aerodynamic properties and more reliable batteries dubbed Endeavour Mk 2. The team used CFD simulations to make minor tweaks to the canopy, and tested the car extensively at a local airfield, before heading out to the 2011 World Solar Challenge led by Emil Hewage. There, after one of the toughest races on record due to a combination of thunderstorms and bush fires, they finished 25th out of 37 teams.
2008 - 2009
Affinity was designed and constructed in early 2008, as a prototype vehicle to learn about solar systems and vehicle development. She was also used as a display and outreach vehicle, inspiring students and grown-ups alike across the UK. Affinity was endorsed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to legally drive on UK roads, and became the first solar-powered vehicle to qualify. In June 2008, as part of our “End to End” event, Affinity became the first solar-powered car to drive legally on UK roads, driving over 830 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise awareness of sustainable energy. During the event, we ran outreach events at schools and town centres across the UK. To date Affinity remains the only solar vehicle to have driven legally on the UK roads.
In July 2008, following the successful “End to End” tour, Martin stepped down as Team Manager and was succeeded by Anthony Law. Work began on the second generation CUER vehicle, Endeavour, led Anthony Law with Martin taking up a position on the team’s Advisory Board, a position which he still serves today. Following design work by a number of students in the Engineering Department, and with the support of the Advisory Board, the team competed in the 2009 World Solar Challenge, a 3000 km solar marathon across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. Endeavour's 2009 entry was launched by Jenson Button at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The 2009 Team came 14th, of 26 competitors. Our highest finish to at the World Solar Challenge to date, though a battery failure severely hindered their chances of competing effectively.
2007 - 2008
The team was founded in 2007 by Martin McBrien. Whilst studying as an exchange scholar at MIT, he was inspired by their Solar Electric Vehicle Team and dreamt that one day Cambridge would be able to win the World Solar Challenge. On returning to Cambridge, he assembled and led a team of ambitious students and supporters and began developing our first vehicle, Affinity.