Since we are in the business of building a solar car (more specifically, we are “building a solar car to educate people” as we like to say!), it is only appropriate to start our introductions with our mechanics team. We asked their team lead, Aleks Tammela, a few questions to find out more about them; so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Who belongs in your team and what do they do?
The mechanics team is made up of five subteams: suspension, battery, interior and aerodynamics.
Suspension folks, Ardo Tiits, Nikita Chornyi and Kevin Telliskivi, are getting our movements as smooth as possible and keeping the body on the wheels. They also take care of the breaks and steering.
Our frame is taken care of by Ülo Pajutee. He ensures our drivers’ safety and is creating a frame and a platform that unites the work of all the other teams. You could think of it as the spine of the car-organism without which it wouldn’t survive. We simply couldn’t build anything if we didn’t have this base keeping it all together.
The battery back provides power for our engine to take us from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. To achieve this level of efficiency, we decided to design and build our own battery pack instead of outsourcing it. Peter Kipp is the lead engineer for this team, leading his two fellow engineers, Danylo Bezruchenko and Laur Kristjan Salvan.
The interior is taken care of by Triinu Lusmägi and Kaisa Talts. They are in the business of creating the best possible environment for our drivers. This includes keeping every necessary button within reach and designing an interior that wouldn’t overheat.
Aerodynamics seek to direct airflow around our solar car with the least amount of resistance to enable the car to move with ease and without using up too much energy. Sten Marcus Malva and the team lead Kristo Kannik are our guys for tackling these challenges.
What are the biggest challenges mechanics are facing?
One of our biggest challenges became switching out the design of our car entirely. We had already done so much work and had finished a large part of the frame. Now, much of the previously done work was useless. We had to start from the beginning, trying to create a whole new frame and interior with a very limited time window. Luckily, everyone was confident about the improvements the new design would bring, and they kept a positive attitude. They did an incredible job.
What do you consider to be the strengths of your team?
I can confidently say that the mechanics team stands out with their unity and enthusiasm. They have not been phased by significant challenges, ask for help when they need it and don’t give up before they achieve their desired results.
Do you have any book recommendations for us?
I really recommend “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty, a former monk and the host of the most renowned health and wellness podcast “On Purpose”. His book will take you along his adventures around the world as a monk, passing on wisdom to all of us. It really changed the way I see the world and gave me many practical takeaways for overcoming challenges and reaching goals.