26 September 2011
(Odometer 6,150 miles)
PHILADELPHIA–When I think about the building of the pyramids or great European cathedral construction in the middle ages, I think of all the people who worked on those projects who never lived to see their completion.
That thinking is a little strange, I’ll admit. A similar feeling swept over me as I stood with Bill Etter, electrical team leader; Andrew Botelho, who’s working on sensors; Oliver Pacchiana, working on thermal aspects of the battery system; and and Michaela Flaherty, mechanical engineering, in the basement of an engineering building here and learned the background on their passion.
The Penn Electric Racing team has been working on their car for six years. That’s more time than it takes to get the average degree (even an EE degree!). It emerged, according to Etter, from a legacy at Penn of students building alternative-energy cars, most notably, the Solation, the Phaeton, the Independence and others.
Etter, giving us a history of the program, takes it from there in this first of several segments on the team and its car.