28 Sep 2021

Virtual forum to share solar success

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

A new virtual Bridgestone World Solar Challenge forum will drive conversation on the latest solar vehicles and celebrate the bright young minds creating them.

The event – Past, Present and Potential – will be held on Friday 29 October from 7am to 8:30am Australian Central Daylight Time. It is set to feature insights from experts including Australian Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley.

Two Bridgestone World Solar Challenge alumni will also take part: Tesla Staff Electrical Engineer Alexandra Boulgakov and Ford Senior Engineer Andris Samsons.

Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed said the virtual initiative promised wide-ranging discussion.

“We know our event has helped thousands of international entrants pursue diverse careers and look forward to highlighting this legacy,” Ms Rasheed said.

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Event Director Chris Selwood AM said the session was open to all and would be particularly relevant to current and potential solar car team members.

“The forum promises to be both inspirational and informative – a chance to reflect on the journey so far and also consider the future,” Mr Selwood said.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Virtual Forum will be hosted by Mr Selwood. Speakers and focus areas are as follows:

  • Australian Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley
    The importance of science, technology and innovation in experience-based learning, and the translation opportunity the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge offers
  • Emeritus Professor John Storey
    Evolution of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
  • Ford Australia Senior Engineer Andris Samsons
    Bridgestone World Solar Challenge alumni – where are they now?
    Industry opportunities
  • Dr John K Ward
    Preparing for the adventure of a lifetime
    Question and answer session on the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
  • Associate Professor Peter Pudney and members of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Scientific Faculty (Emeritus Professor John Storey, Dr David Snowdon and Dr John K Ward)
    Question and answer panel discussion on future Bridgestone World Solar Challenge regulations
  • Tesla Staff Electrical Engineer Alexandra Boulgakov
    Bridgestone World Solar Challenge alumni – where are they now?
    Industry opportunities and women in engineering

Prospective forum attendees are invited to submit questions ahead of the session via [email protected] or ask them in real time on 29 October.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Telemetry Challenge will also take place during October. It allows for driving, testing and comparison of solar cars in the absence of a physical Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Registered analysts will engage with submitted solar car data, practising and experimenting with analysis methods and presentation. Twenty-three teams have registered to take part in the telemetry challenge.

The 16th edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – to have been held from 22-30 October this year – was cancelled in February. The decision, made following extensive scenario planning, was prompted by Australia’s ongoing international border closures. A total of 630 international participants, and 26 teams from 20 countries, were expected to travel to Australia for the event.

The State Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission, remains steadfastly committed to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – a biennial event next scheduled to take place in October 2023.

The event is owned and managed by the South Australian Tourism Commission on behalf of the South Australian Government. Since 1987 it has welcomed great international minds to Australia for the chance to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the sun.

In 2019 the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge celebrated 32 years and welcomed a record 43 teams from 21 countries.

Register for the Virtual Forum 'Past, Present and Potential' here.