In December last year, the UNSW Solar Car Racing Team, Sunswift Racing, set the world record for the “Fastest 1000km achieved by an electric vehicle on a single charge”. 

The team, comprising 75 UNSW Engineering students, spent the past 2.5 years designing, manufacturing and testing their seventh solar car, ‘Sunswift 7’, to compete in the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide. 

I joined the Sunswift Racing Team at the beginning of 2022 as a second-year mechanical engineering student working on the powertrain of the car (think motors and components that transmit power in the car!). Despite joining the team with little technical knowledge and experience with solar electric vehicles, I have been able to develop my manufacturing skills, technical knowledge on electric vehicle technologies as well as project management skills. 

Working in such an incredible team not only offered me the opportunity to develop those aforementioned skills, but also the opportunity to expand my network and relationships by working alongside accomplished and like-minded engineering students from different disciplines. Sunswift Racing is a great opportunity to get involved in a hands-on project which also rewards you by giving you course credit when studying an engineering degree at UNSW. 

2022 saw the official launch of the ‘Sunswift 7’, with many days of running and collecting data on the car to understand and improve on the efficiency and reliability of the design. This was done in preparation for the Guinness World Record attempt which took place in December. I witnessed the ‘Sunswift 7’ drive 1000km continuously in 11 hours and 53 seconds, which set the world record with an average speed of 85km/h! 

Going into 2023, I am honoured to take on the role as the Team Manager for Sunswift Racing. This year will be one of our busiest and most momentous years with the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge taking place in October 2023, as well the design and manufacture of our next car - the ‘Sunswift 8’.

Learn more about our team and ‘Sunswift 7’ on the Sunswift website.