The Gator Nation will have a solar-powered car to add to its alternative energy collection, thanks to Solar Gators, a new club at UF.
Created this semester by materials science and engineering sophomore Jason Rosen, 19, and mechanical engineering freshman Ben Rosenthal, 18, the club plans to design, build and race a solar-powered car.
The Solar Gators will debut at the Formula Sun Grand Prix race in summer 2013, Rosen said.
After that, Rosen said he hopes the team will progress to the American Solar Challenge, which races across the United States, and eventually race in the World Solar Challenge across the Australian Outback.
Rosen and Rosenthal began racing solar-powered cars together at South Plantation High. Their high school team, the Solar Knights, raced around the Texas Motor Speedway in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the team raced across the United States from Texas to Colorado. That experience
prompted them to start a team at UF.
"I found my passion for alternative energy and the green movement and wanted to bring that to other people," Rosen said.
He said collegiate teams have access to more resources than high school teams.
Solar Gators members are in the process of reaching out to corporations for funding, Rosenthal said.
Rosen said Solar Gators is aiming to raise about $150,000 in preparation for the race. The group has $250 so far.
The club has about 30 members, Rosen said, and is looking to expand. UF students of all majors are encouraged to join.
"There are still opportunities for those who are not in engineering to get involved," Rosenthal said.
Rosen said the team should be composed of students from multiple majors and backgrounds because building a solar-powered car is an interdisciplinary task.
The team is currently focusing on the design and marketing phases of the project.
After the logistical tasks are completed, building will begin, he said.
For more information about the Solar Gators, call 352-577-2922, visit solargators.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Solar Gators, a new club created by materials science and engineering sophomore Jason Rosen and mechanical engineering freshman Ben Rosenthal, is planning to build this solar-powered car, which will compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix race in summer 2013.