Born out of a passion for innovation and creativity Ardingly Solar aims to be the first ever European School to compete in the 2015 World Solar Challenge – a biennial race across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide of over 3000km.
From high-level electrical programming to acquiring financial sponsorship, the project takes students into the world of industry; driving them to develop a combination of skills independently as they overcome the challenges of building their own solar car.
With a need for speed, an eye for detail and a taste for style we want to produce a car that doesn’t just race well but looks good too. We also want to inspire younger students around the world to take on projects of global importance, to venture where no student has been before and to break the boundaries of what people tell them is possible!
As well as overseeing general operations Matt has been heavily involved in the electronics for the team, developing a unique raspberry pi system to control electronics for the car. When Matt isn’t working on the car, you can find him on the hockey pitch or training with the football team.
Leading the largest and rowdiest division of this student led project isn’t always easy, but assertive, reassuring and passionate about science, Holly makes light work of this task. As engineers, it’s the role of the mechanics team to produce a chassis and shell for the car.
James is our Media Manager and Matt's right hand man. Working with the College PR team, he has introduced and developed links with local, national and international media. James' decision to take a Gap Year was an excellent move, as he has been kept incredibly busy with final preparations for our World Solar Challenge bid, he is also one of our solar EV drivers.
It’s the complex network of wires and cables that brings any electric vehicle to life. Chris and his team are in ‘charge’ of this elaborate system: ensuring solar panels, batteries and the motor are all functional and properly integrated into the car.
The brainchild behind this website: fascinated by the world of code and programming Lennart made his debut with the team in 2014. He tells the team modestly ‘I started with very little, but each time I faced a problem, I looked it up and learnt from other people's code and over time I became better and better to code on the level I do today’.
Enthusiastic, modest and unassuming, it is now Johannes 3rd year in the team. Working closely with the Marketing Team and our partners in industry, the business team make this engineers dream possible.
From the forefront of industry to the classroom, Dr Spiers began his career as a teacher in 2004. As pioneer of the Ardingly Solar Car, Dr Spiers supervises activity on the car and provides a wealth of valued expertise and advice to ensure deadlines are met.
It takes hours and hours of hard work from a very special type of person to ensure the smooth running of what is as much a business as a school project. For our team, this person is John: a man with a wealth of experience and expertise, willing to listen and advise; to help a team of schoolchildren realise their vision of racing in the World Solar Challenge. John Binns is also CEO and founder of Lincoln Binns Ltd an electronic enclosures and panel printing company. Find out more at: www.linconlbinns.com
As well as manufacturing our unique battery management system, main control box and motor control box, the team from Lincoln Binns have given us many of the skills needed to build our Solar Car. Their support and first class advice throughout the project have made our dream of racing the Bridgestone World Solar challenge possible. Their CEO John Binns is also our ‘Mentor in Industry’.
In the latter stages of the project the workshop at Time 24 was home to our solar car. The first class wiring company supported and facilitated our team in the wiring of our car, allowing us to turn rugged chassis into moving electric vehicle.
NTCadCam were out 1st major sponsor. In 2013 they trained our team on top of the range designing software, Solidworks. This enabled us to design our car and run airflow simulation to hone in on our final design. Follow our journey on their blog:
Specialists in the field of health care and innovative treatment solutions, Elekta also have a passion for Solar Cars. As our major financial sponsor Elekta have helped make what was once a dream in the mind of a mad physics professor the reality that is the Ardingly Solar Car.
Whilst working on bodywork for the likes of Redbull, Mercedes and McLaren, there is always time for the Ardingly Solar Car down at GTR. We are very grateful for their support and expertise in constructing the body for our car.
Exhibiting at the McLaren Motor Show
Working with and alongside Cambridge University
Working with Stanford University
Training at nt CADCAM
Local and national media coverage
Work experience at McLaren and Pro Drive
Working with MIA Electric Cars
Exhibiting at the South of England Show
Entering and winning Big Bang STEM competitions
Winning the “Thales Prize for Coding and Computing”
Winning the “Pyrotech Award for Design and Technology”
NSEC Regional winners for ‘Electronics and Technology’
Exhibiting at the NSEC National Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham