Mechanical Engineering Students Unveil Team PrISUm’s “Penumbra”


My role as project director of PrISUm Solar
Car is to breathe life and put a purpose and mission behind the entire project. I am working with all 120 members of our program
to create, design, build, and engineer truly the future. So my main role in building Penumbra is, well
basically a lot of manual labor. So you see the car behind me. You see the walls, the doors. I took part in manufacturing those so all
of the carbon fiber and fiberglass that went into building the sides, hood, roof, everything. I was part of that. I also do a lot of machining and other manufacturing,
sanding. Any sort of task that needs to get done, I’m
here to do it. I really enjoy working with people from different
majors and backgrounds because it definitely gives you a different perspective and it definitely
makes realize what you do and do not know. So coming into this, I’m a freshman in mechanical
engineering so I don’t have a whole lot of background in engineering but if you meet
a senior in aerospace engineering, they’re going to be able to teach you a lot about
the aerodynamics of the car or how they designed the shell of the car. When you work on a project for two years,
night and day, weeks on weeks, even at the conception of the idea that we’re going
to build a four-passenger car, something that’s going to change the paradigm of transportation,
it’s hard to see the end goal. So now with the deadline fast approaching,
you’re working on this car, it’s something that’s physically there and you can truly
see ‘wow, we’re actually doing this.’ Probably my biggest reason why I’m passionate
about PrISUm is because of the people that I work with. Getting to go every day, every other day,
interacting with passionate people just gives me that drive, gives me that passion to complete
this project. My decision to stay here over the summer was
based a little bit around the car and also around working and just getting more hands-on
engineering experiences. I definitely think that I benefited from staying
in Ames this summer, getting to just interact with people in more of a professional sense
instead of having just a cashier job at home. I get hands-on engineering and get to better
myself as an engineer and hang out with people that I met throughout the school year. Whether you’re a mechanical engineering,
an electrical engineer, a computer engineer or if you’re a public relations major or
business or communications, whatever it may be, you bring that ideal of what PrISUm should
be into this program and are the only reason why we have been able to accomplish what we’re
going to accomplish on June 2nd.