Western Sydney University students are gearing up to take on the World Car Solar Challenge in October

Two local students have played an integral part in Western Sydney University’s bid for the 2017 World Solar Challenge, driving 3000km from Darwin to Adelaide powered by the sun.

Valerie Jochico, 22, from Jordan Springs is in the second year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree, and in the mechanical team for the solar car project.

She was involved in designing the brake system and is currently working on designing the carbon layup for the battery box that will house the batteries and electrical systems. 

When she graduates, she’s hoping it will help lead her into the field of automation and robotics. 

Outback challenge: Solar Car team members preparing UNLIMITED 2.0 for its official launch. Photos: Sally Tsoutas

Outback challenge: Solar Car team members preparing UNLIMITED 2.0 for its official launch. Photos: Sally Tsoutas

And Daniel Nemec works as the mechanical lead on the project. He is responsible for the manufacturing process of the solar car and ensuring it is mechanically sound. 

He was first involved in the project as a student at Penrith High in 2015.

“One of my friends was introduced to a member of the solar car team, and I became involved as well,” he said.

“Mostly, I was on the sideline, watching how it all worked. I was also involved in building solar go-karts. My experience with the team definitely influenced by decision to study at WSU.”

Unlimited 2.0 is the name of the solar car. It’s a 4.58m long, 1.4m wide car built by the university’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.

It is expected to reach more than 129 km per hour – although that estimate is based on their last model, and actual speeds are closely guarded by the 22-member team.

The 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place from October 8 to 15.

The team and the solar car lab are based at the Werrington campus, but will head to Darwin for the event later this month.