How did SD Tech get involved?
In January 1995 the U.S. Department of Energy sent out a request for participants in SunRayce 95. Thirty schools would be selected from those responding and would be awarded a "seeded" entry in the race. The remaining 10 racing slots would be awarded to the 10 vehicles that covered the greatest distance at a pre-race qualifier.
SD Tech was one of 65 schools that responded with proposals indicating how they would design, build, test and race a solar powered vehicle. A major part of the proposal writing process included establishing a realistic budget for the project. Of the 65 responses, 30 schools had previous experience in SunRayce and/or the World Solar Challenge (held triennially in Australia). In other words, to become a seeded team, SD Tech needed to displace a team with previous experience.
A total of 6 new (rookie) teams were awarded seeded entries in SunRayce 95 and SD Tech was one of them. This is a major accomplishment in itself, especially when considering some of the schools that were not awarded including MIT, Cal Poly Pomona, UT Austin, Michigan Tech, etc. In addition to schools from the continental United States, SunRayce has teams from Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico.