The 2,000-mile race involves solar power cars from universities in the United States and Canada.
Matt Swif,t who graduated from Panas in 2014 is a member of a team from Iowa State University. He is a double major there in materials engineering and math and is due to graduate in 2018.
Swift is part of Team PrISUm that placed seventh and won two achievement awards in the race.
The American Solar Challenge is a competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time/distance rally event.
Only 13 of 20 cars (that tried to qualify) participated in the rally.
Iowa State's team had 21 students. Race challenges included a blown battery charger the first day, when the circuit board that powered the car stopped working on day two, a flat tire, and a loose connection. Repairs had to be done on the spot.
The team is now working on a car for the World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2017. Swift is in charge of the group that is designing and manufacturing the composite shell of the new car.
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