Five States in a Small World: ATN Solar Car Team Update
06 Oct 2019
For many teams, it’s a huge logistical exercise coordinating an often large and diverse group of people with differing skill sets and backgrounds, in order to participate in the BWSC.
For the ATN Solar Car Team, add to that the fact that your team members live full time in 5 different States across Australia. The Australian Technology Network’s BWSC Team consists of students from five Australian Universities; QUT, University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, University of South Australia and Curtin University.
While they’ve been working from their home states for the preparation period, they’ve finally come together now in Darwin to finish their car, Priscilla, and embark on their first Challenge together.
We caught up with Team Manager Anna Lidfors Lindqvist at BWSC Open Day at the Waterfront, where the ATN Solar Car Team came out to show off Priscilla to the locals – complete with hot pink feather boas!
How has the ATN Solar Car Team been going so far?
It’s been really stressful – we are 5 Universities across 5 States making one big team, so there’s a lot of integration that has to happen. It mostly happened before we got here, but there's still minor things we need to fix.
Are you feeling good about Priscilla?
Yeah, we’re feel really confident. We are a newbie team, but we’re getting there and it looks good.
Is it intimidating seeing some of the other Cruiser Class cars who have been doing the BWSCfor a few years?
What’s actually scary is that we haven’t seen that many Cruiser Class teams – they tend to be offsite, so we haven’t been able to see them yet, but we’ll see them all tomorrow!
Are some of the Cruiser Class teams playing their cards – or their cars – close to their chest?
Some of them are, but most people at Hidden Valley are super helpful and friendly – it’s a great community really. I’ve heard that this happens every year – you tag each other’s trailers with your stickers... But ours are hot pink, so we can’t really hide them!
Tell us what it's like coordinating a team that's based from all the corners of Australia?
It’s a bit like looking for someone in a different building - it’s a little bit hard. When you do it across different states, it gets a bit harder. The students on the team are really committed, so that makes it so much easier.
We’re quite a multicultural team as well - we come from all over the place, so that makes it interesting. I’m a Swedish national, and we have people from everywhere...
So have you been catching up with the Swedish teams?
Our garage is one step away from one of the Swedish teams, and they’re super lovely. I was talking to them in Swedish… I realised that one of the parents that were on the team comes from very close to where I’m from?
We imagine one of the best things about the BWSC is interacting with people from all around the world?
Sometimes the world is very small, which is awesome...
Spirits are high for the ATN Team. Image via ATN Solar Car Team.
What have you gotten out of this?
I've gotten a lot from the communication and collaborating with people – you have to sometimes understand that people don’t always understand what you’re telling them, and how you see things, so it’s all about compromising.
What’s the day in a life of an ATN Solar Car team member here at the BWSC?
Early mornings, late nights, and a lot of water. And sleep in between!
This past few weeks we’ve had a lot of really late nights just to be able to put the car together – there's a lot of pressure when you’re from 5 Universities, a lot of people want to see this succeed.
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