Nexen continues its sponsorship of the University of Calgary Solar Powered Vehicle Project
August 15, 2012
Nexen announced that we will be a gold level sponsor of the University of Calgary’s solar car project for the next three years – an investment of $25,000. Nexen has sponsored the solar team since 2007.
Last year, the car – named Schulich Axiom –finished the gruelling 3000-kilometre Veolia World Solar Challenge in Australia, where they were the top Canadian team placing 19 out of 38 teams.
"The reception from Nexen has been great," says Lindsey Allan, communications coordinator for the solar team. "We feel strongly that our sponsors should know what their sponsorship dollars are working towards. We're proud that we've made a name for ourselves as the top Canadian team in multiple international races."
"We're excited that Nexen could help make the U of C's solar-powered vehicle project a success," says John Birdgeneau, Vice President Technology. "At Nexen, we rely on the ingenuity and creativity of our employees to design cutting edge technology that helps us recover resources that were previously inaccessible. The vision and commitment of the solar-powered car team illustrates this same commitment to technology, and we're happy to be a part of the program."
Schulich Axiom is the team's third-generation car and it is now retired. A fourth-generation solar vehicle (presently unnamed) is being designed. It will participate in the 2013 World Veolia Solar Challenge.
While the details of the new car are being kept a secret until its official unveiling in January 2013, the team gave a few hints about what's to come. "It will be a more practical vehicle, with four wheels and the ability to carry two passengers – something you could really envision driving on the road some day," says Lindsey. "We are constantly looking for new ways to captivate, innovate and educate, and this seemed like the logical next step."
While everyone naturally focuses on the car, Lindsey notes that the behind-the-scenes work involves an interdisciplinary team working on a comprehensive program that includes fundraising, marketing, design, building and operation. Students on the solar team come from the Schulich School of Engineering and the Haskayne School of Business, as well as from the faculties of Science and Social Sciences. "The opportunity to gain experience working with other disciplines is invaluable, especially when you consider the number of different individuals you will work with during your career," notes Lindsey. "This project provides students with the opportunity to network, gain presentation and communication skills, and see a project through from conception to completion."