Rowan Motorsports team, Rowan University, for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013

Photograph courtesy Rowan Motorsports

School: Rowan University

Team: Rowan Motorsports

Car Name: The Prof  (Gasoline Prototype category)

What is special about your car? Ninety percent of the Rowan Motorsports car is made in-house, estimated by cost.

The team takes extreme pride in machining as much of the car as we can. We collaboratively design the car to make it fuel efficient, but also so that it is possible to allow us to build it ourselves. This allows us to really produce a low budget vehicle that we know we can honestly say we designed and built. The hands-on experience is what makes the project fun, and it is why we work as hard as we can on it.

The aluminum frame was welded entirely in-house. The steering system and wheel hubs were designed and built on Rowan's own mills and lathes. Detailed pieces were produced using the waterjet. The shell was thermoformed using a thermoformer that was also built in house. This car has countless characteristics that we can point out, show off, and say, "I built that the way I designed it, and it worked."

Why is fuel efficiency important to your team? As stereotypical broke college students with student loans, everyone on the team is always looking to save a couple bucks wherever we can. We understand the need to improve efficiencies in all aspects of vehicle performance to save gas at the pump. It is with this drive and understanding that we take this goal through this project and out into the 'real world' of our careers. Our future engineering endeavors will be focused on sustainability, so this project provides us practical experiences that will aide us in future employment situations.

Who or what inspired you on the way to Eco-marathon? Each individual on our team has their own motivations to participate in this project and competition; whether it is our hobby, to learn more in the field, or just to build something cool and fun. As a team, we are inspired by the reactions of awe and wonder when explaining the project to friends and family. As a team, we are inspired to reach our student and faculty predictions. The project started by theoretically calculating what should be possible; we work everyday to reach as close to that goal as we can.

Rowan University's College of Engineering is not a household name like MIT or Virginia Tech. We strive to put Rowan on the map and become a household name. We strive to do as well as we can in the competitions. We strive to beat the alma maters of our professors, to prove to them that their own program has succeeded in advancing past their origins.

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