A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will demonstrate the capabilities of solar-powered vehicles during the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2019.

Missouri S&T’s Solar Car Design Team will compete against approximately 15 other collegiate teams from around the world at the Circuit of The Americas, a 3.4-mile Formula One racetrack. Missouri S&T’s student-designed and -built car is named Independence.

The Formula Sun Grand Prix is a track event that is held on grand prix or road style closed courses to test the limits of solar cars in handling curves, braking and acceleration. The event will be held Monday, July 1 through Saturday, July 6 in Austin, Texas.

Teams start the event with three days of technical and safety inspections, then move on to three days of racing. Victory at the event goes to the team that completes the most laps over a three-day period.

Independence is a redesigned car with a focus on reliability. The team has made a custom battery protection system for the car and has already taken test drives in the vehicle as early as February of this year. 

The Formula Sun Grand Prix provides teams the opportunity to test and compete off the open road. The race helps students and engineers develop and demonstrate their technical and creative abilities, while promoting an understanding of solar energy technology, its environmental benefits and its promise for the future.

The Solar Car Design Team is one of 20 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.