Here’s a quick who’s who of the major slackers players in this year’s team. We’ll all be posting on here from time to time, so get to know us!
Charlie Watt – Technical Director
Charlie is one of two greatly loved Irishmen on the team. Specialising in Civil, Structural and Environmental engineering, he is in charge of chassis design, as well as overseeing the rest of us. His demeanour and laid-back attitude may give the impression of incompetence, but in the world of solar car engineering he is truly outstanding….although he still can’t work a washing machine…
Anthony Law – Team Manager
Anthony heads up the business end of things, and is our buffer between the happy, safe, enclosed, sciency bubble that we inhabit, and the really quite unpleasant world of finances, PR, sponsorship, marketing and so forth. For this, and many other things, we are truly grateful. Although he specialises in Aero engineering, this year he is working on the optimisation of our racing strategy (translation: he is writing software that will make us faster. For a given value of ‘faster’). Fortunately, his hairstyle has improved since the taking of this picture.
Laura Hughes – Aerodynamics Team Leader
Laura is in charge of all things windy. She is heading up the team responsible for making our car look as pretty as possible as aerodynamically efficient as possible. This she plans to achieve via an elaborate juggling act whereby she will also be captaining Downing College Boat Club. Her excellent experience in the field of making things go fast through fluids is an invaluable asset to our team.
Lucy Fielding – Aero Team
Along with Laura, Lucy works on experimental aerodynamics – chiefly wind tunnel testing, although there has previously been an incident with an airfield, a 50m-long tow rope, a photographer dangling out of a truck and a really, really big spring balance…
She has promised not to break the wind tunnel - however, Laura is reluctant to leave her unsupervised, since she occasionally tends to rate comedy value over actual performance.
Mike Probyn – Aero Team
Mike is the resident CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics, for those of you fortunate enough not to have encountered it) ‘expert’. He spends his time in the imaginary world of Fluent, making pretty pictures of streamlines and air pressures. On those rare occasions when he is not in the department running or coding simulations, he is likely to be found in the pub. Any pub. Possibly even all of them.
Jonathan Smith – Electrical Team Leader
Although Jonathan lost a lot of respect from his peers when he decided to focus on Instrumentation and Control, he quickly regained it by being remarkably good at the stuff. A year at MIT, some of which was spent working on driver controls for their solar car, gave him the perfect skill set required to lead the electrical team. Jonathan’s main advantage is that the rest of the team often doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. In this manner, he should be able to easily convince us all that the electrical systems are all wonderful. Not that they won’t be anyway…
Rich Hall – Electrical Team
Rich is in charge of all things electrical-motor-ish. He sought fame at an early age by resolutely standing on lots of eggs at the same time, in front of 300 bored engineers, but, when that didn’t pan out, he finally settled on electronics. This year his (non-egg-standing) talents will be directed towards developing a lovely swish motor controller.
Evan Scouros – Electrical Team
Evan would probably make a fantastic entry for Britain’s Got Talent, if it weren’t for the fact that he is Greek. Nonetheless, he quickly earned the unofficial title of CUER Breakdancer after his antics in one of our photoshoots. When he isn’t indulging that interest, or skiing for Cambridge, Evan likes to relax by working on high-tech solar arrays and MPPTs (which maximise the energy extracted from said cells).
Chao Yu – Electrical Team
Being in charge of battery design and construction makes Chao really a rather important member of the team. It has never been satisfactorily ascertained whether he still has a room in college, or has moved in permanently to the tiny CUER room above the Hopkinson Lab. Nobody is brave enough to dare pass all those DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE signs he’s hung up, though, so we may never know for certain…
Hannah McMillan – Mechanical Team Leader
Hannah has a wonderful and varied range of talents, one of which, fortunately, is mechanical and automotive engineering. As leader of the Mechanical Team, she has a hefty job keeping the laws of physics at bay long enough for the car to not career wildly off the road. While she may occasionally appear flustered, this thin veneer of panic serves only to disguise the thorough and methodical mind beneath. It also makes it great fun to wind her up.
Rich Barnwell – Mechanical Team
Barnwell has his foot well in the automotive door (well, not literally. That would be painful) as a member of Cambridge’s Formula Student team – Full Blue Racing – and a severe F1 fan. It’s a very large foot, which appropriately reflects his ability in the area of vehicle dynamics. He spends much time in the department developing some seriously nifty rear suspension and braking systems. On the occasions he manages to escape, he does enjoy a bit of casual and relaxed paddling about in a boat.
Kento Taoka – Mechanical Team
Kento is singlehandedly responsible for all the composite work on the car. So far it’s turning out to be a pretty big job (even bigger for Kento, since he’s so little). Luckily, he’s got the kind of stamina that lets him run around on a hockey/football pitch for days on end, probably.
Ben Evans – Electrical Team
Ben, astoundingly, is not even an engineer, but studies Geography instead. All of that colouring in leaves him with a lot of free time to tinker with the solar car, and, as it turns out, tinkering is a bit of a hobby of his.
Sam Denny – Strategy and Software Team Leader
Sam is another non-engineer, choosing instead to indulge his love of theoretical physics. This not being enough of a challenge, he has also taken on the task of weather forecasting and analysis for the team. Somehow this will be cleverly incorporated into the strategy and cruise control model. There is a small risk that this may cause the car to develop sentience, in which case Sam plans to distract it with a Prius.
Chris Uglow – Logistics Team Leader
Chris occupies a veritable rag bag of roles in CUER. His main purpose is to organise things, so that the rest of us can concentrate on the important design-fail-design-build-test-fail-modify-fix process. His rather spiffy camera also qualifies him to be team photographer, and no doubt many of his works will soon be gracing these pages. Next year he hopes to design a biomimetic chassis, although we suspect this is just a cover story for the new legs he wants to build himself after his nasty bowling accident.
Emma Probyn – Outreach Team Leader
Emma makes up the second half of the only brother-sister team in CUER. It makes us feel very Fantastic Four. She is our link to the next generation – sorting out events where we can go to schools and build and play with toy solar cars. Her supply of colouring pens is unsurpassed, and her outreach days are always enjoyed by all – even when we have to use the high power torches to drive the cars because it’s too cloudy.
Quinby Frey – PR Team Leader
Quinby’s eccentric Californian arts-studenty attitude provides a nice contrast to the hordes of (extremely awesome) engineers plaguing the metaphorical halls of CUER. Having interned in some rather high-up positions in various companies she is a wise voice to have on the business end of the team.
That’s not all, though! Visit http://www.cuer.co.uk/team.html for a fuller version of the team!