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Durham Solar Car Team Trailblazing Through Innovation


At a time when innovation is at the forefront for all major industries, Durham University students are leading these ground-breaking changes. Solar energy is already breaking through, and the Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) solar car team is a game-changer to watch out for.

In the last year, the team have embarked on an ambitious publicity campaign to promote their project in the lead-up to racing again in Australia at the World Solar Challenge in 2017 — a 3,000km marathon race across the heart of Australia against teams from around the world.

Durham University Business School third-year Economics undergraduate student Tobias McBride is the Head of DUEM’s Business team and has spearheaded this effort. The team focuses on connecting and raising funds from partners and external donors, marketing at events and conferences and organising an ambitious outreach programme.

"If you had said to us a year ago that we would have signed this many new sponsors, launched a new website and exhibited at high calibre events – we would have never believed it”, said Tobias.

The team helps to take the solar car to schools across the UK and the world, forging connections to inspire the next generation of those who dare to think differently. Following appearances at the London Motor Show, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Science Museum, DUEM recently exhibited at the UN Climate Summit, COP22, and the Formula E ePrix in Marrakech. Tobias said: “The last 12 months for DUEM have been our busiest to date. COP22 was the focal point for world leaders, focusing their efforts on combating climate change as a planet. To exhibit our car, DUSC2015, in the presence of such leaders, world press and the heads of major corporations from across the world was a thrill and an honour”."

Compared to all other solar car teams, the team’s budget is one of the lowest. They work hard to deliver incredible value for their sponsors, and to have their names at this world-renowned event is unparalleled. “Have you heard of another solar car exhibited at the United Nations Climate Summit?” said Tobias.

“I personally feel your time at University is so much more than just getting a degree”, Tobias continued. “This project has enabled me to extend and support my education at Durham in innumerable avenues, giving me practical experience in negotiation skills, marketing management and networking. Forging links across the University is one of DUEM’s great attributes, and having increasingly close ties with the Business School is something we are very keen to expand on in the future."

“The team has worked incredibly hard to achieve all these opportunities to showcase the latest technology, educate the public about the planet and inspire the next generation. What we have planned for the future is going to change everything you know; all over again.”

DUEM is funded through sponsorship and private donations. Please see here for more information about becoming a sponsor or making a donation.

[Photo Credit: Sam Nicolls]