Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The University of Iowa College of Engineering student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is in the midst of designing, building, and racing a solar-powered vehicle and using it as a tool to develop student professional skills while contributing to the community.

The chapter, only two semesters old, is comprised of 40 undergraduate students from all engineering disciplines as well as non-engineering majors.

In Fall 2017, ASME received a solar car frame and chassis from Iowa State University's PRISUM Solar Car Team to help start the program.

The club is also partnering with other student organizations such as Dance Marathon in an effort to connect students from around the university. It also wants to test drive the vehicle through Iowa’s 99 counties, visiting high schools and museums to promote participation in STEM fields, especially engineering, upon graduation.

Another goal is to compete in the 2018 American Solar Challenge this summer. It will be the University of Iowa’s first time competing in a solar vehicle challenge and the team would face off against other prestigious engineering colleges such as the University of Michigan and many others. It is an endurance competition that takes place over 1,700 miles across the nation. This year’s competition follows the Oregon Trail from Nebraska to Oregon.

To view the video about the ASME Solar Car, go to

To read the Cedar Rapids Gazette news feature on the ASME Solar Car, go to

To learn more about the ASME Solar Car Team, including funding efforts, go to