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Signing Off: A Year At The Helm

If there is one thing I can say for certain about this year, it’s that there has not been a single dull moment in the 12 months I have been Programme Director of CUER. 

BWSC 2017: The Switch-up

One week on from regulations and CUER is in full flow, excited by the new possibilities for BWSC 2017. As ever, new regulations have brought on new challenges but the enthusiasm, as we approach our 10 week design phase, massively outweighs any trepidation of problems yet to be overcome. 

WSC 2017 Anticipation

Eight months has flown by since Evolution broke the Cambridge record in crossing the Australian Outback, and now it’s time to find out what the next World Solar Challenge will have in store! 

The Next Generation

As the academic year draws to a close, we look ahead to the next generation who will take up the challenge of designing and building a solar powered car to cross the Australian Outback. We have seen some very promising students join the team this year, from first year undergraduates all the way through to PhD candidates, which is very exciting for the future of CUER. 

NT CADCAM #SponsorMonday

Our sponsor NT CADCAM has been providing us with 3D CAD and PDM software solutions since 2013. By taking an integrated approach to design and manufacture, NT CADCAM delivers high quality software solutions to help our team design collaboratively and more effectively.    

Cambridge Circuit Company #SponsorMonday

Offering a cost-effective, quality, responsive and reliable in-house Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing service; in 2016 Cambridge Circuit Company Ltd not only celebrates 30 years in the industry, but also five years of sponsoring CUER. 

Schwalbe #SponsorMonday

Schwalbe supports CUER in its goal to promote the development of sustainable engineering, and applying those development theories to practice on the international race circuit.

Signing Off: Lent Term 2016
Yet another Cambridge term is complete and as the rest of the team begin to bury their heads in revision, I think it is time to take stock of what we have achieved so far in 2016. 
ANSYS #SponsorMonday

Our sponsor, ANSYS, has been providing the team with CFD software for several years now. Since Aerodynamic performance is the key focus of our concept, being able to understand, test and develop our designs is very important to our success.
They believe that the CUER solar car is always a good example of how design changes can be incorporated and tested using CFD for increasing aerodynamic performance of a car within tight space regulations. 

SolidWorks Training by NT CADCAM

Two sessions of three hours on consecutive afternoons sounds like an intense software workshop by most people’s standards, particularly in the middle of a Cambridge term. Yet this picture is a far cry from the experience of the SolidWorks workshop run in week 4. We all had a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching experience. 

The Solar Racing Community

Member of the 2015 WSC Race Team, Lucy Osborne, reflects on the power and greatness of the Solar Racing Community. 

Directorship #3: A Need to Be Selfish

When it comes to looking after people on the team, what you need to put first is yourself. I learnt this the hard way by trying to help everyone else, no matter the expense to myself, and it almost lead to me leaving the team. Luckily this was a while ago, and I knew when I took over the team that if I was not able to look after myself I would not be able to help others. This does not mean you should leave other people hanging or not help anyone, but when it comes down to it you should not compromise your own health and basic needs. This sounds obvious but it can be very easy to justify just one more late night to help reduce someone’s workload and keep doing this every day. 

Directorship #2: The dynamic, fixed schedule

In the long-term, it is important to present a fixed plan. With so many people working on different personal schedules in the team and being able to commit different amounts of time through the year, it is best to present a few very clear external deadlines well in advance and then break this down into more manageable internal deadlines.  

Directorship #1: Thrown In at The Deep End

There is no doubt that managing a team of 60 people, raising and managing a million pound budget and producing a solar car to cross the Australian Outback is a huge feat for any individual, but for an undergraduate? Some would say it’s impossible, I would disagree. 

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