Winter Quarter Summary

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper update. In the time since our return from Australia, we’ve selected new team leadership, welcomed Luminos back to the United States, and moved our sights onwards towards WSC 2015. We’ve recruited (and are still recruiting!) an excited batch of new members and are underway in preparations for designing and building our next vehicle. Here’s all of the above in a little more detail.

At the beginning of winter quarter, once the race crew made its way back from various post-race travels, the team met to discuss goals, visions, and next-cycle direction, and to select a new team leadership for 2014-2015. We considered events such as the American Solar Challenge (Summer 2014) and Sasol Solar Challenge (South Africa, September 2014), evaluated successes and failures of last cycle, and discussed what team members hoped to gain and achieve this next cycle. Much of the latter two elements are part of an ongoing discourse that we hope will continue to develop and shape our team. With regards to the former, we concluded that our team’s efforts will be best focused on continued participation in the World Solar Challenge; we intend to return to Australia for the next competition in 2015.

As mentioned above, the team also voted on leadership for the new cycle. We welcome aboard the following leadership team for the 2014-2015 cycle: (You can read more about each member here on our site.)

Guillermo Gomez, Team Lead
Darren Chen, Engineering Lead
Max Praglin, Systems Engineering Lead
Jamie Goldfield, Composites Lead and Race Crew Lead
Eric Thong, Embedded Systems Lead
Harry Johnson, Electrical Lead
Anna Olson, Mechanical Lead
Jason Jong, Telemetry and Strategy Lead
Matthew Matera, Array Team Lead
Aravind Arun, Mechanical Lead
Rachel Abril, Business and Logistics Lead
Kelsey Josund, Financial Officer
Gregory Hall, Recent Team Alumni Engineering Advisor

These roles will continue to be refined and developed as the team settles into its structure for this next cycle. (In fact, this list already reflects some changes since the initial decisions in January.)

Luminos arrived safely back in the United States by air not long after the race, thanks to the excellent work and generous sponsorship of Virgin Australia. Our cargo containers with the remainder of the team’s equipment all returned last quarter, after a much longer ocean voyage.
While the team was off in Australia, new shelving was installed in our shop at VAIL. Team members on campus helped coordinate moving all our equipment, and the following reorganization continues into this quarter.

In the realm of recruitment and preparation for next cycle, the team has been off to a great start. After an initial recruitment meeting at the start of the quarter, we’ve had many new members on all of our sub-teams that we’re excited to on-board. The mechanical team familiarized itself with CAD and then jumped right in with designing wheel covers that we then tested for power savings. The electrical and code teams learned about and experimented with various boards and interfaces on the car, while members of the array and composites teams had a chance to make practice modules and lay-ups. Members interested in business and finance have already begun soliciting and maintaining sponsorships for next cycle and have handled end-of-cycle tasks such as sponsor thank-you gifts.

Stay tuned to hear about continued progress and events for spring quarter!

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