The Team

The Adelaide University Solar Racing Team (the AUSRT for short) is a collection of 36 engineering students from the University of Adelaide, assisted by a group of academics and workshop technicians. The AUSRT originally formed in 2014 and first competed in the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The AUSRT is split into 5 sub-teams, each with their own responsibilities and goals. The sub-teams will work together to complete the overall aim of designing a solar car with maximum power and efficiency. These teams are:


Connor Holmes

Team: 2018 Mechanical systems Team Lead

Email: cholmes@ausrt.com

Connor was inspired to pursue Mechanical and Sustainable Energy engineering by the potential of international employment and the prospect of developing sustainable, green technology in which has little or no carbon emission. His desire to participate in the 2018 AUSRT comes from the idea of creating a petrol free vehicle that is both sustainable and powerful, leading the way for solar vehicles in the future. This year, Connor will be working on the mechanical systems of Lumen II, using his knowledge to improve the hubs, wheels and brakes.

Matt Smith

Team: 2018 Mechanical systems Team

Email: msmith@ausrt.com

Matt has had a strong interest in mechanical systems in automotive racing and fabrication. A degree in Mechanical Engineering was a perfect fit. Matt has spend a majority of his time working on the Lumen’s suspension system as well as assisting with management and overall development of the project.

Thomas Francesca

2018 PR Manager

Team: 2018 Mechanical systems Team

Email: tfrancesca@ausrt.com

Thomas developed a curiosity for how things worked and passion for automobiles and motor sports from a young age which inspired him to enroll in a degree of Mechatronic Engineering and Mathematical Computer Sciences. After a year in the automotive industry overseas, Thomas returned to university and joined the AUSRT to further develop his skills and knowledge. This year he has focused on occupant protection by re-engineering and re-developing the roll hoop, a crucial component in protecting the driver in an event of an accident, whilst also investigating the steering system of the vehicle. Thomas has also been the teams sponsorship coordinator with the aim of gathering support for and promoting the team. In the future Thomas plans to continue working in the automotive industry around the world combining it with his love of travelling.

William Snook

2018 AUSRT Manager

Team: 2018 Mechanical systems Team

Email: wsnook@ausrt.com

William was inspired to become an automotive and mechanical engineer from an early age by his grandfather. His roles within the team are 2018 AUSRT manager and a Mechanical Systems engineer who is focused on the redesign of the wheel hubs to reduce rolling resistance. Outside of University, William is a partner in a farming operation two hours out of Adelaide, to which he dedicates all his spare time.

Fisher Liu

Team: 2018 Mechanical systems Team

Email: fliu@ausrt.com

Fisher was interested in the automobile race and sustanability strongly and the AUSRT team provide him a perfect opportunity to join a such race and combine the two interests together. He is a member of the mechancial system in 2018 AUSRT team. He has foucsed on redesignning the Lumen’s roll hoop with Thomas to make sure the driver being safety during the race. He will use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to improve the roll hoop and get the experience to solve the real problem in the project rather than in the textbook.

Jean Ma

2018 Safety Manager

Team: 2018 Power & Control systems Team Lead

Email: xma@ausrt.com

Jean takes a position of the Power & Control system team lead and Safety Manager in 2018. She works mainly on human management system, motor and works along with Damon. They two works on the solar panel and battery box design. Jean is keen to work as an engineer who needs to use limited resource to solve problem. She always investigates alternative solution and offers a backup option. Outside of study, Jean enjoys watercolour painting, photographing and also exploring Adelaide.

Damon Wu

Team: 2018 Power & Control systems Team

Email: dwu@ausrt.com

Damon is interested in machinery and has strong hands-on ability from a young age. This led him to enter the University of Adelaide and choose mechanical engineering to enhance both the knowledge and skills that he is interested in. As a member of power and control team, the AUSRT provides him a good opportunity to design and manufacture different components of the solar car power system. In the team, Damon is mainly responsible for the design of solar panel arrays and battery boxes, which is the only energy source of the solar car. In addition, Damon is also responsible for the update and maintenance of the AUSRT website.

Kane Valente

Team: 2018 Power & Control systems Team

Email: kvalente@ausrt.com

Kane was always interested in mathematics and science from a very young age, and then developed an interest in software development aged 10, when he realized he could program a computer to do whatever he wanted. This led him to pursue both mathematical and computer sciences, and mechatronic engineering at the University of Adelaide. Kane joined the AUSRT in 2016 for 12 weeks work experience to work on the software systems of Lumen II. He was initially drawn to the project as it crosses multiple engineering disciplines. Kane returns in 2018 as an honour’s student to continue the development of the software and control systems.

Rainsey Ros

Team: 2018 Aerodynamics systems Team Lead

Email: rros@ausrt.com

Rainsey developed an interest in modelling fluid motion during his Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree and the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge provides an excellent opportunity to improve the performance of the University of Adelaide’s solar car. Rainsey joined the 2018 AUSRT aerodynamics team to demonstrate the knowledge he has accumulated over his degree and this year, he has placed his focus on streamlining the work flow of running simulations, optimizing the outer car shape through CFD testing and coordinating the aerodynamics team. Other responsibilities include organising wind tunnel testing, crosswind analysis and learning to cope with irregular sleeping schedules.

Alex Brumby

Team: 2018 Aerodynamics systems Team

Email: abrumby@ausrt.com

Alex has been interested in the mechanics of flight since he grew a fascination with planes during his early school years. This fascination drew his attention to various applications of aerodynamics until the AUSRT was introduced during his second year of university and the complexity of the challenge, intrigued Alex as he tried to think of various potential improvements to the solar car. This year, Alex has been investigating the application of surface features to the car and improving the ventilation systems currently in the solar car.

Albert Nguyen

Team: 2018 Aerodynamics systems Team

Email: anguyen@ausrt.com

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge sparked interest and inspired Albert to apply his knowledge in Aerodynamics to design the solar car exterior for minimum drag and improved airflow. Albert found that joining the AUSRT would be a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience and further develop his computational fluid dynamics skills. This year, he has focused on optimising external components such as the canopy, fairings and trailing edge in preparation for the 2019 race. His main interests are aircraft aerodynamics, spacecraft propulsion and thermodynamics.

Tam Thai

2018 Finance Manager

Team: 2018 Aerodynamics systems Team

Email: tthai@ausrt.com

Tam’s passion for engineering stems from his interest in astrophysics, planets and rockets throughout his childhood. During his high school years, his interest expanded to aerodynamics and planes, which lead him to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. This combined with his knowledge in computer-aided design (CAD) allows him to take on a variety of roles, depending on the team’s need. The Solar Car honours project presented a new challenge for him, especially since he volunteered to take on the role of Finance Manager for 2018, having little prior understanding about anything finance-related. This year, Tam will be working closely with other members of the 2018 AUSRT aerodynamics team on a variety of aspects, such as CFD simulation, but his main focus will be utilising his CAD skills to modify existing designs as well as creating new design concepts.

Wen Fan

2018 Safety Manager

Team: 2018 Aerodynamics systems Team

Email: wfan@ausrt.com

Wen has always had an interest in aerodynamics, motor sport and renewable energy discipline. He joined the AUSRT as he believes he could apply his passion and skills to this solar car racing project which is a great opportunity to build knowledge on solving real problems in the real world. Renewable energy is a trend in automotive industry. This AUSRT project is a good starting point to get involved to the field and be an engineer. This year Wen will be working on the aerodynamic team, using his knowledge to analysis and improve the aerodynamics performance of the solar car. He also worked with Jean to take care of the safety issue for the team.

Abdulaziz Alghamdi

2018 AUSRT Master Student

Team: 2018 power and control systems Team

Email: agh@ausrt.com

Abdulaziz is a previous member of “Seraaj” solar car team. “Seraaj” team designed and manufactured 2 solar cars,” Wahj 1” and” Wahj 2”, and also Participated in World solar challenge in 2011. Abdulaziz played a major role in electrical team of “Wahj 2” and had good understanding of the manufacturing and design of the solar cars. Abdulaziz then worked for General Electric for 3 years before he decided to do master’s degree in Adelaide university. In Adelaide university he found the opportunity to join the solar car team. In the middle of 2018 Abdulaziz joined the solar team with big focus on the electrical components and develop a strategy to manage the solar car during the race in addition of being one of the car’s drivers.

Antoni Blazewicz

Team: Supervision

Email: antoni.blazewicz@mecheng.adelaide.edu.au

Antoni is a lecturer in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide and has worked with the AUSRT since its initiation. He completed his PhD studies in 2008 at the University of Adelaide, in the field of acoustic radiation in flow over bluff bodies. His general research interests include experimental fluid mechanics and air conditioning.

Norio Itsumi

Electronics Specialist

Team: Technical Staff

Email: nitsumi@ausrt.com

Norio is a part of the technical staff in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and supporting the AUSRT from 2015. He moved to Australia in 2006 as a skilled migrant and started working for the School of Mechanical Engineering to support academic staff and students in Electronics. He has expertise in embedded hardware and software design and contributes to the team in both high voltage and low voltage electronics. Previously he enjoyed watching the World Solar Challenge to see many teams from his country of origin, however now he joins in the event as a part of AUSRT.

Steven Grainger

Team: Supervision

Email: steven.grainger@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Steven Grainger is the Director of Learning and Teaching in the School of Mechanical Engineering and Program Co-ordinator of the Mechatronic Engineering programs. Dr Grainger's research interests include nanopositioning and autonomous robotics, and he has a particular interest in autonomous underwater vehicles. He has published many peer-reviewed articles on his research, both technical and scientific, and on engineering education. Dr Grainger practised in industry as a consulting engineer before moving to academia. He joined the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2007 after 10 years as a Lecturer in Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. He has been a visiting lecturer at institutions in Oman, Russia, Germany and Australia.

Copyright © 2015-2017 AUSRT. Photo credit: Lachlan Harris, Jake Bott, Benjamin Gloster, Jess Tan and others on the AUSRT. Content credit: Jonathan Hicks, Jake Bott, Bailey Nassau and others on the AUSRT.