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CUER

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 captain@cuer.co.uk.

Core Team 2017/18

Xiaofan Zhang: Programme Director

This is my third year with CUER having joined in my first year and I took over as Captain in November 2017. As Programme Director it is my responsibility to oversee and lead all aspects of the society from recruitment, technical development, operations, finances and sponsorship. Throughout my time in CUER I've been part of the Electrical team, Summer Design Team, World Solar Challenge Race team, a driver at the European Solar Challenge and Project Manager for Mirage. I've been fortunate to learn a huge amount about all aspects of the programme and am looking forward to applying this experience to ensure that this race cycle is a success. I'm excited to be taking a year out from my studies next year as Full Time Programme Director so that I can dedicate my full focus to making this race cycle a success.  

Tommy Li: Chief Engineer

I am a fourth year undergrad engineering student specialising in Aerospace Engineering. I joined CUER as a fresher in 2013 and was a member of the aerodynamics subteam for two years, before joining the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team for one year where I led the aero development of Flux. I then spent a 13-month study break in the Aero Performance Group at Mercedes AMG F1. Returning to CUER in 2017 as Chief Engineer, I help direct the overall technical development and have responsibility over the systems integration of the new vehicle. Designing solar cars is great because it gives you relevant skills in a niche but growing electric automobile industry and you meet tonnes of bright, like-minded people not just within CUER but across the solar car community worldwide. 

Christian Repole: Business Director

I am a second year Engineer from Jesus College. I joined CUER in my first year as part of the business team and it has been great getting more involved as the Business Director for the 2019 race cycle. My role involves managing sponsor relations and bringing new sponsors on board. I am excited about the new developments this race cycle and about bringing together valuable partners to support the team. The work I do with CUER contrasts my Engineering degree well and has helped me develop the skills necessary to pursue my interests of working in the Venture Capital space. 

Matthieu Wilson: Technical Manager
I’m a second year Engineering undergraduate at Jesus College. Since October 2017 I have been the Technical Manager for CUER, which involves organising and managing the technical teams within the society. At the start of my first year I joined the mechanical team and immediately got involved in the CAD for the roll cage of Mirage, the design of the headrest and support for the array pole, the design for bulkhead stiffeners and then went on to work on the carbon fibre lay-up of the chassis over the summer between my first and second year. Playing a part in this society has been such an incredible experience, from which I have learnt so much, and I look forward to the coming year and the challenges it brings!
Hanesh Patel: Operations Director

My name is Hanesh Patel and I'm currently in my third year studying Manufacturing Engineering. I've been involved with CUER as Operations Director since September 2017 having previously been involved with another engineering society. My first task was co-ordinating the return of Gen and all the team's belongings from Australia following the 2017 competition. I'm looking forward to arranging the team's activities in the lead up to the 2019 World Solar Challenge. As a student, CUER is an amazing and unique society to be involved with as I can take on significant responsibility and be part of an innovative group of like-minded students to develop a road legal solar car!  

Shuan Sim: Summer Design Team Coordinator

I'm currently in my fourth year studying chemical engineering. I decided to join CUER in my third year: I was drawn in by the interesting technical work its members were doing, as well as the society's focus on sustainability. In my first year, I worked in Thermal Management, modelling airflow over our driver, and in Operations. This year, I've been setting up our 2018 Summer Design Team, which has been a great experience in project management. I've enjoyed defining the scope of different placements, and arranging interviews for applicants. While I'm sad to be leaving Cambridge in July, I'm glad I had the chance to work with the amazing people at CUER! 

Siling Zhang: Secretary

As the Secretary and archivist for CUER, I am responsible for documenting our journey to ensure the continuation of knowledge as the team develops as well as maintaining alumni relations and other administrative tasks. I’ve been part of the team for two and half years, previously as Events and Operations manager and as logistics coordinator in Australia for WSC17. Currently in my third year as an engineer from Clare College, I worked for Jaguar Land Rover looking at finite element models of vehicles and how to improve its NVH performance on a conceptual level. I am excited by the new direction the team has taken and can’t wait to see Helia in action. 

Ru Young: Chief Chassis Engineer

I'm a third year Structural Engineer from Queens College, and I joined CUER in October 2017 at the start of this race cycle. As Chassis Team Technical Leader I have been leading the technical development of the rolling chassis for Helia as well as the integration of it with the other critical systems in the vehicle. I am really excited by the challenge of taking the project from concept to a physical vehicle in time for WSC 2019. 

Alfie Dent: Chief Aerodynamics Engineer

A final year Aerospace Engineer, this has been my first year with CUER. Having spent a summer at Mercedes AMG F1, I was keen to continue working on large, exciting engineering projects. My role for the team has been technical lead of the body group, essentially designing the outer shell of the car and optimising the aerodynamics. Working with group of such enthusiastic and talented engineers has been an absolute joy - I've high hopes for the team's performance in 2019!  

James Lee: Body Engineering Manager

I am a second-year engineering student from Selwyn College. Originally from Hong Kong, I joined the university, and CUER, in October 2016 and have been an active member since. For my first year, I was a member in the aerodynamics team, running CFD simulations for the 2017 vehicle. This year, I took up the role as the Body Engineering Manager. My responsibility is to manage project progress concerning the aerodynamic and body designs of the vehicle, directing team members in the design process. The process of designing a solar vehicle is challenging and incredibly rewarding. I enjoy working with the team, solving problems and making technical judgments through communicating interesting ideas.  

Siddharth Gupta: Co-head of electrical

I'm in my 4th year, specialising in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I've been involved in CUER since my 1st year; as part of the team I have participated in both the European Solar Challenge 2016, and the World Solar Challenge 2017 . I'm currently a co-lead of the electrical team, which involves being ultimately responsible for the design, implementation and testing for all of the electrical systems in the car. I learnt a lot working on the 2017 vehicle, and am excited to be able to  use this experience to improve the electrical systems for the next car, as well as pass this knowledge on to the newer members of the team. 

Zi Koon Pong: Co Head of Electrical

I am a 4th year engineer studying electrical and information engineering at Magdalene. I have been involved with the team since my first year  and I was a part of the 2016 CUER Summer Design Team to design and develop the electronic hardware of the 2017 race vehicle. A particular highlight was the design of a new, in-house developed Battery Management System which the electrical team has been tirelessly developing over the course of 2 years. What never fails to astonish me is how a team of dedicated students are able to take what started off as nothing more than a design sketch on paper to a manufactured, driveable vehicle over the course of 2 years; all whilst studying for an undergraduate degree at the same time! I have spent a summer at Jaguar Land Rover and will be joining the company after I graduate. 

Elena Rastorgueva: Head of Strategy

As a 3rd year engineering undergraduate who signed up for CUER in their first week at Cambridge, I’ve enjoyed getting stuck into CUER as it enables students to make an impact on a project far bigger than anything we’ve encountered so far. I am currently head of the Race Strategy team, undertaking the challenge of deciding how we should drive in Australia to make best use of every second of sunlight.
I took part in the 2016 CUER Summer Design Team, working on the systems integration of the car, which helped me gain a useful perspective for my current role. I first joined CUER as a Business Team member, and was Business Manager for 2016/17. I was also a driver in the 2016 European Solar Challenge. 

Max Vigdorchik: Head of Software

I am a second year Engineering student at St. John’s College looking to specialize in Electrical and Information Engineering. CUER has been a significant part of my time at Cambridge from the very start of my first year when I was working on small circuits and fixing up software for the battery management system. I am currently responsible for the embedded software on the car and helping new members develop their programming skills. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing team’s hard work put to the test in Australia for WSC 2019.  

Oleg Korolov: Designer

I am a first year Architecture student, from Jesus College. Working on Design allows me to keep the sponsors and supporters updated with graphics regarding the project, creating a link between the team and the outside world. My work also ensures that the project has an integrated identity – solidifying our image. I enjoy this work – it allows me to be creative, facing the challenge of maintaining a vision for design. 

Helen Shao: Junior Treasurer

I'm a second-year engineer from Trinity College. Having just joined CUER this year as Junior Treasurer, my main responsibilities include managing the Team's overall budgets and finances, and looking after the Team's bank accounts and cash flows. This role offers me a fantastic opportunity to work with both the technical and business sides of the Core Committee. I'm excited to be part of a student-led society that is operating on the kind of scale as we are and can't wait to see what the new race cycle holds for us!  





Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Team 2017




Core Team 2016/17

Frank Bloomfield: Technical Manager

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! 

Xiaofan Zhang: Project Manager

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! 

Elena Rastorgueva: Business Manager

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. 





Summer Design Team 2016

Sam Charlwood: Array Design

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. 

Mrinank Sharma: Driver Interface

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. 

Alex Bogomil: Telemetry and Strategy

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

Aurelia Hibbert

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. 

Adam Gristock
I am Deputy Director and Project Manager. I enjoy this role because it is at interface of the Technical, Sponsorship and Operations teams; I like knowing what everyone is up to and dipping in and out of the detail! On a daily basis I could be doing anything from organising freight to helping plan manufacturing. This variety keeps things interesting but increases the risk of getting sucked into too many tasks. During my time in the role I shall focus on improving my skills as a manager so I can ensure team members are best placed for us to succeed! 
Max Schinke
As Technical Director, I oversee the Innovation Projects and the concept development of the our new car. The role offers the opportunity to get involved with the technical details ranging from mechanical, electrical to aerodynamic aspects. At the same time I see the development of the team as a whole and manage the technical sub-teams. It's great working with all these brilliant people, learning new skills while working on a great project.



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.



Full Team

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.

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