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Montana's

solar car team

Proudly a part of Montana State University

 

Since our founding in 2017, our mission has been to promote alternative energy in Montana.

The Bridger Solar Team is excited to build our first solar car at Montana State University in over 20 years. All members of this team are passionate about the innovation, inspiration, and education that comes with the use of solar energy. This program is a multidisciplinary project that incorporates students from numerous academic and technical backgrounds, including math, physics, engineering, and business. Our mission is to design and build a competitive solar car to race in the 2019 Formula Sun Grand Prix. We currently have five Senior Design Capstone teams working in unison with our team. Faculty and staff from all tiers of the university are providing mentorship to the Bridger Solar Team throughout the duration of the project.

Building a solar car is a multi-faceted opportunity that engages our student body with tangible designing and building experience. It promotes the use of clean, renewable energy, networks students within the university, and fosters long-lasting partnerships within the community. The value this project will add to our graduating students is immeasurable, and it maintains Montana State University’s legacy as Montana’s flagship institution.

The competition

"The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is an annual track race that is held on grand prix or road style closed courses. This unique style of solar car racing is open to teams from around the world and truly tests the limits of the vehicles in handling curves, braking, and acceleration. On years when the American Solar Challenge (ASC) is held, FSGP serves as the qualifier race for this competition. Teams must successfully complete FSGP to prove their vehicles before they are allowed to start the cross-country ASC journey. The racing strategy applied during the three day FSGP track event is different than the cross-country ASC event. Driver training, passing strategy, and quick pit stops are crucial for teams racing in FSGP. It’s also essential to have a diligent team member in the timing booth and follow all of the rules of the track to ensure all laps get counted." 

Check out photos from the 2018 Formula Sun Grand Prix below

Formula Sun Grand Prix 2018

Team Members

LEVI ALLERY - PROJECT DIRECTOR

Hometown: Kalispell, MT

Major: Electrical Engineering

Minor: Computer Science

Why did you join the team?

My passion is to work in the automotive industry. I wanted to get a head start on that by starting the team and helping create an engineering masterpiece. This team is a great opportunity to work with other majors and improve teamwork.

TANNER WHETZEL - ASSISTANT PROJECT DIRECTOR

Hometown: Spokane, WA

Major: Electrical Engineering

Why did you join the team?

 For as long as I can remember, green energy has fascinated me with its endless potential. However, until recently, I've not had the opportunity to make a difference in the alternative energy field. As a member on this project, I will be able to work with that which interests me most and on a fun, multidisciplinary team as well.

CAMERON BLAS - DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING

Hometown: Everett, WA

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Why did you join the team?

Two of my favorite things are problem solving and watching ideas come to life. This team puts me in a role where I am able to oversee multiple aspects of what will be an engineering masterpiece. I am able to apply my education to a real life work place while impacting other engineers around me. With this team I am growing both as an engineer, and as a person. I hope people everywhere see what we are doing and also strive to implement innovative technology into a better future. 

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SCOTT SMITH - ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGER

Hometown: Bozeman, MT

Major: Electrical Engineering

Minor: Aerospace, Computer Science

Why did you join the team?

I joined this team because I have a passion for engineering and design and I want to excel in my fields of study. This team is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands on experience with the future of power production. I want to see this team become a successful and competitive program for many years to come. 

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LEE RANDALL - MECHANICAL ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGER

Hometown: Bozeman, MT

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Why did you join the team?

I have a passion for problem solving, designing, and fabricating. Bridger Solar caught my attention with the ability to aid in and lead the design processes, build phases, and testing of a competitive race car. I look to help organize the club to create an effective work environment that will test and improve members' communication skills, team work, design skills, and problem solving skills.

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ELLIOT DUNN – CO-BUSINESS & MARKETING DIRECTOR

Hometown: Hammond, NY

Major: Electrical Engineering

Why did you join the team?

The Bridger Solar Team provides an invaluable opportunity to obtain real-world experience. Designing and assembling a solar powered vehicle for both competition and as an educational display piece is an awesome and worthwhile endeavor. I’ve always wanted to be involved with progressing mankind. Being apart of this collective effort to showcase and advance sustainable and renewable technology was an easy choice for me because it aligns with my own vision.


KYLE ALDERMAN - CO-DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS & MARKETING

Hometown: Lame Deer, MT

Major: Electrical Engineering

Why did you join the team?

I have always been interested in the inner workings of a business and I am passionate about renewable energy. By joining the Bridger Solar Team I hoped to see renewable energy in action first hand and to gain real world experience in business and marketing that I will use for the rest of my life. After one semester my expectations have been far surpassed with a dedicated team, the amount of support from the community, and successful business mentors that have been willing to help and want see the Bridger Solar Team succeed.

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ETHAN MITCHELL - TREASURY DIRECTOR

Hometown: Aztec, NM

Major: Computer Engineering

Why did you join the team?

As an Electrical Engineer, I have also been striving to figure out how I can apply my education in a practical way. Solar power is the next frontier of renewable energy, and I want to contribute to that in any way possible. I hope that my work here can someday have an effect on the world around me. 

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More members coming soon! We have over 20 members and a lot of them have yet to get photos taken as they are busy studying and designing our first car. Please check back with us to get an updated members list.

 

How to Join

Building a solar car is no small task. Car builds last over the course of two years and involve many students working and collaborating together. All majors are welcome as everyone has a different background and skill set that can be utilized in bringing this team to victory. If interested please try to attend any of our meetings below, or send us an email and we can discuss further. 

 

Team Meetings 6PM in Norm Asbjornson Hall 325

Jan 28th, Feb 11th & 25th, March 11th & 25th, April 8th & 22nd

Sub-Team Meetings

Mechanical - Coming soon

Electrical - Coming soon

Computer Science - Coming soon

Business - Coming soon

Partners

Platinum Tier

“Since its inception in 1982, Quantum Design International (a privately held corporation) has developed and manufactured automated temperature and magnetic field testing platforms for materials characterization. These systems offer a variety of measurement capabilities and are in widespread use in the fields of physics, chemistry, biotechnology, materials science and nanotechnology.”

“Our engineering, engineering technology and computer science programs are at the core of MSU's land-grant mission. We are dedicated to providing an inclusive, hands-on learning environment that supports academic excellence, strives for innovation in research and serves the community in Montana and beyond.”

“SOLIDWORKS® solutions can help boost productivity, harness intelligence, foster innovation, and facilitate collaboration. Through tight integration, SOLIDWORKS tools enable you to leverage 3D models throughout the organization, bringing processes together so you can get products to market faster.”


Silver Tier

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Bronze Tier

 

Honorary

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