Newsletter 7: the body has arrived

29 - 05 - 2015

Solar Team Eindhoven Newsletter #7






It has been already 8 months since we came together for our first full working day on the first of September. Since then, much has already happened and it turns out to be a real roller-coaster. Also for me as project manager, a lot has changed during the project. In each different phase of the project, different tools are used to manage the project in the right direction.

In the beginning, we mainly used Project Plan. With this tool it was relatively easy to draw up a individual planning for all the engineers. Namely everyone had his own part and also his own duties which he had to finish.

At the same time, scrum was introduced in our team. This is a management method in which small groups come together every morning to discuss briefly what they did the previous day, which tasks they will perform today and where there are problems. In this way everyone is aware of each other, problems are quickly detected and is it possible to switch quickly.

As the project proceeds, more and more parts come together. Components form assemblies and assemblies form a car. This is also a period in which more people increasingly have to work with each other, but at the same time there is less ‘space’ to work on the car. We can not work together with 22 people on the car at the same time of course.

To prevent this I prepared an integration scheme. In this scheme, each component is specified when this has to be build into the car. A component is realeased only when it meets all the requirements. In this way, we prevent that we have to get a part out of the car because there seems to be a defect.

Using these methods, I make sure this project is on the right track and we have a car which can drive on the second of July.


For about two months, 4 of our mechanical engineers worked 7 days a week to finish the body of the car. With the help of the other teammembers, the body was finished. On the 26th of May, the body arrived at Eindhoven. A new milestone is achieved. They deserved a warm welcome. Not too much time for celebrating, because now the suspension and electronics can be integrated.


It is obvious that a car cannot drive without a steering wheel. Now the body has arrived, it is among other things time to put a steering wheel in our solar-powered family car. The mold is defined, now the carbon fiber wheel itself can be made.

Inline afbeelding 1





For Solar Team Eindhoven, I work on the interactive design of our new solar car. 

My main goals are to facilitate functionality and user friendliness. To achieve this, feedback is very important. Feedback is the information a component gives back after using it. By designing this feedback in the proper way, the usability of a design improves greatly. By letting a button give mechanical feedback, you can feel how much you changed something. This trick is often applied to volume buttons by letting them give little ticks when they are turned. Besides feedback is position of the buttons and controls very important. By choosing the best places, the usability increases drastically.

These two factors are especially important in designing the interface of a car. I want the driver to be able to focus on driving instead of finding the volume button and setting the right volume. This is about getting the nuance right. This nuancing and refine are my favorite parts of designing the car interface. For me, the best way to get this right is to try a lot. For that reason, my desk is always full of parts, sketches and prototypes.

Inline afbeelding 2




Last month was a month with highlights for me as responsible for both exterior and interior. Especially the last week of this month. The body moved to Eindhoven, the molds of the chairs arrived and the design of all the big interior components like dashboard and door panels are finished.

My biggest design tasks are completed, so my focus now shifts to smaller components, manufacturing and finishing. For example, I am busy with the livery of the car. Besides the livery, little components like cupholders, knobs and holders are getting more attention now. This project is really turning tangible. After monthes of designing components behind my PC, these components arriving at our office rapidly. This is necessary because in 5 weeks our solar-powered car is ready to drive!


One of our formal teammembers is married. With Stella as wedding car, Qurein Biewenga and his wife Jessica Biewenga gave each other their vows. We all wish them a happily ever after.


We were invited for a discussion about “Tanken in de toekomst” (Refuel in the future). With representatives from Shell, Vandebrom and Fastned, we discussed about driving and refueling. The attended delegation of our team convinced the crowd that our car is the future and therefore refueling becomes obsolete.


In the first week of June, PROVADA will take place with overall theme: “(Re)building the business”. We will be present at this event. Here we will show how a solar-powered family car will change the current way of living and thus also the current way of doing business.


Before we reveal the new body of our car, let us not forget where this project comes from. With Stella as the start of the moblity-revolution, BOM presents scale models of her. You can win these by answering the following question right: “What is the weight of the new body?” You can sent your answer to: [email protected] The winners will receive a personal message.




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