2021 is shaping up to be another exciting year for DUEM, even if it didn’t go quite as planned. DUEM had originally intended to compete in the American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2021. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we had to make the difficult decision to withdraw.
However, in true DUEM spirit, that wasn’t going to stop us from aiming high and achieving great things this year. After a lot of planning meetings and hard work, we are so excited to announce our 2021 event, STUK (or Solar Tour UK), a very apt name for a solar car team stuck in the UK.
STUK is an outreach-oriented event where DUEM will be touring the UK schools with our car, Ortus, and delivering outreach sessions for the students. This is a great event as it draws on the strength of all our team, from the engineers working to get Ortus ready, to the outreach and marketing teams preparing materials for interactive sessions at the schools. STUK will consist of 2 separate weeks, the first travelling around the North of England and the second around the South.
Whilst STUK has a primary outreach focus, we cannot neglect the needs of our engineers and it wouldn’t be a solar car tour without at least a bit of driving. We will therefore be incorporating a track day into STUK at the Dunsfold Aerodrome (best known for its use in Top Gear). We have invited other UK solar car teams tojoin us for a day of track driving, getting to know our fellow UK teams, and showcasing the cars and engineers in action. We are particularly excited for this section of the tour and look forward to creating a stronger sense of community within the UK solar car world. COVID-19 permitting, we will also be inviting members of the public, our sponsors and team alumni to attend this event and see just what DUEM are capable of.
Our event has 3 main goals; our community aims, personal aims and global aims. As part of our community aims, we want to first and foremost educate pupils of all ages on the importance of renewable energy. We also want to encourage students to take an interest in STEM subjects by showing them real-life applications of science and engineering. We hope this will inspire a future generation of engineers to solve problems using green technology.
For our personal aims we hope to strengthen the friendships and working relationships between our team members as well as give our team an opportunity to travel the UK whilst giving back to local communities who wouldn’t normally get this sort of opportunity. This will also be a great opportunity to test the car and train both engineers and new drivers. At DUEM we are so proud of the work we do and are so excited to be able to showcase it all over the UK.
Finally, our global aims are focussed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); whilst we will be promoting all 17 goals, as a solar team, we will be focussing on goals 7 (renewable energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption), and 13 (climate action). We hope to try and meet these goals by encouraging school pupils to use green energy resources and live a more sustainable lifestyle. As a solar team we also continuously push to further green energy technology and help to improve the efficiency of travel.