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EVolocity 2018 launches at the Faculty of Engineering’s Newmarket Campus

05 April 2018
Evolocity launch 2018 at Newmarket campus
EVolocity schools programme manager Les Black briefing students at the launch

The Newmarket Campus hosted the Auckland launch event for this year’s edition of EVolocity, an initiative to get high school students across the country interested in electric vehicles (EVs). It was attended by around 50 students representing 11 different schools in the region.

The event centred on an icebreaker task designed to familiarise students with the challenges they’ll be facing throughout the year as they build their own electric vehicles. Like last year, groups of students brought their mountain bikes and any tools they think they might need. They were provided with a kit to electrify the bike to get it moving under electric power alone.

Most teams were made up of students from a single school, but it was actually a joint effort that finished the task first. A team comprised of two students from Henderson High School, one from Massey High School and one from Waitakere College had its bike up and running in a record time of 23 minutes. The fastest time from previous years was 35 minutes to achieve the same result.

EVolocity has a broader reach than just getting secondary and high school students invested in EVs. Many of the skills and interests that students will develop as they work on these vehicles, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and project management, will prepare them for a future in engineering studies and careers.

As Naming Rights Sponsor for the Innovation category, the Faculty of Engineering took the opportunity to introduce attending students to some of the resources, programmes and people they would have the opportunity to engage with if they chose our path towards tertiary study. Hosting the event at the Newmarket Campus meant attendees could get up close with a number of past Formula SAE cars and receive guided tours of the workshop from current team members and leaders.

There was also a presentation from the world’s fastest female motorcycle racer, Dr Eva Hakansson. Dr Hakansson is a recent appointment to the faculty’s staff and shared with students some of her motivations for becoming an engineer as well as video evidence of her exploits on the high speed Bonneville Salt Flats where she raced her bikes.

For students, the rest of the year will be punctuated by hosted build days and a busy development schedule ahead of September’s regional finals. Eligible teams will then have a few months of valuable refinement ahead of the national finals currently scheduled for 1 December.