Dunwoody joins the Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge

First-year student Donald Posterick was part of the highest-ranking high school team in the national Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge last year. And now he’s bringing his skills to Dunwoody.

Donald Posterick with his Eco-Marathon car designsDonald Posterick joined Grand Rapids Senior High School’s Shell Eco-Marathon team–The Thunder Hawks–his senior year after being laid off from his job wiring electric harnesses. Instead of finding a new gig, Posterick decided to teach himself electronics.

“I started out with robotics and programming stuff, and then I got more into the components,” Posterick said. “I designed little circuit boards- etching them myself, doing toner transfers, all that.”

Posterick picked it up quickly and soon became in charge of the electronic components for The Thunder Hawks’ Eco-Marathon car, building the speed controller and the electrical system of the vehicle by himself.

The Thunder Hawks placed fourth in the 2016 National Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge in Michigan–the highest-ranking high school team in the competition.

Posterick brings Shell Eco-Marathon Club to Dunwoody

Donald PosterickPosterick came to Dunwoody in June through the Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) summer camp. After completing the six-week camp, he decided to enroll in the College’s Electronics Engineering Technology program where he could pursue his passions for alternative energy in the automotive industry.

In his short time at the College, he has already organized Dunwoody’s first Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge Club with a goal to design and build a battery-electric eco car during the 2017 season and enter the 2018 competition.

“I think this is something we really have the potential to do good with,” Posterick said. “Heck, the speed controller we competed with last year, I stripped the components off of a wheelchair speed controller to design and build mine. We were scrimping and we took fourth. I think with the right support and the time to do it we can do so much better and put Dunwoody’s name out there.”

Eco-marathon sketchesMembers from the Dunwoody team, including Posterick, will travel to Michigan later this year to watch the Eco-Marathon Challenge and get a better idea of the project that lies ahead of them.

The Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge

The Shell Eco-Marathon is a unique competition that challenges students to design, build, and drive the most energy-efficient car. During the event, student teams take to the track to see who can drive the furthest distance using the least amount of fuel.

The competition is split into two classes: Prototype and UrbanConcept. Prototype simply focuses on energy efficiency without taking passenger comfort into account while UrbanConcept encourages more practical designs.

Each class is divided and judged based on energy types:

  • Internal combustion engine: vehicles using fuels like petrol, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol.
  • Electric mobility: vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells or lithium-based batteries.

Posterick is planning on entering the Prototype class under the electric mobility category.

A college-wide effort

Donald Posterick at the Student club and organization fairCurrently, Posterick is working on recruiting students to help with the initial planning and prototyping. He’s looking for students from across all disciplines to help bring this prototype to life.

“I’m looking for welders, robotics, manufacturing, and electronics folks,” said Posterick. “Even the graphic design students could help us with our car graphics”

Posterick has a few sketches and a small 3D prototype of an eco car he’s got in mind, but he’s interested in hearing ideas from other students. He wants the car to come to life through a college-wide collaboration.

For more information about the club or to find out how to get involved, email Donald Posterick at posdon@dunwoody.edu.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s student clubs and organizations.