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Collegiate Solar Boat Project Prepares Today’s Engineering Students for Tomorrow’s Energy Challenges

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Green Renewable Energy and Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.325.1 - 25.325.7



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Paper Authors


Saeed D. Foroudastan Middle Tennessee State University

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Saeed Foroudastan is the Associate Dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS). The CBAS oversees 10 departments at Middle Tennessee State University. He is also the current Director for the Master's of Science in Professional Science program and a professor of engineering technology at MTSU. Foroudastan received his B.S. in civil engineering, his M.S. in civil engineering, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University. Additionally, he has six years of industrial experience as a Senior Engineer and 17 years of academic experience as a
professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor. Foroudastan’s academic experience includes teaching at Tennessee Technological University and Middle Tennessee State University in the areas of civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and engineering technology. He has actively advised undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and minority students in academics and career guidance. Foroudastan has also served as Faculty Advisor for SAE, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Pre-engineering, ASME, Experimental Vehicles Program (EVP), and Tau Alpha Pi Honors Society. In addition to Foroudastan’s teaching experience, he also has performed extensive research and published numerous technical papers. He has secured more than $1 million in the form of both internal and external grants and research funding. Foroudastan is the faculty advisor, coordinator, and primary fundraiser for EVP teams entering national research project competitions such as the Formula SAE Collegiate Competition, the Baja SAE Race, the SolarBike Rayce, the Great Moonbuggy Race, and the Solar Boat Collegiate Competition. For his concern for and dedication to his students, Foroudastan received MTSU awards such as the 2002-03 Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2005-06 Outstanding Public Service Award, and the 2007 Faculty Advisor of the Year Award. He received the Excellence in Engineering Education Award and Faculty Advisor Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He was also nominated for the MTSU 2005 and 2009-11 Outstanding Research Award. He received two Academic Excellence awards from the Tennessee Board of Region in 2010-11. Foroudastan has also won many College of Basic and Applied Science awards. In addition to this, Foroudastan also reviews papers for journals and conference proceedings of ASEE, ASEE-SE, and ASME, and he has been a session moderator for several professional conferences.

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Collegiate Solar Boat Project Prepares Today’s Engineering Students for Tomorrow’s Energy ChallengesAbstractThe rising demand for green energy and environmental responsibility has had a stronginfluence in modern American engineering curricula. Competent, innovative engineersare needed now more than ever to help solve some of the most complicated problems inthe alternative fuel industry. Solar power is one of the most promising and challenginggreen technologies, and the collective efforts of inventive engineers will be needed tobring it into the mainstream. However, the numbers of engineering graduates in the U.S.continues to dwindle, even with the projected market demands.In order to overcome the impending energy crisis, the nation must invest in and supportinnovative approaches to engineering education which targets the issues that keepspromising minds out of critically important career roles. The solar boat project discussedin this paper is an introduction to how novel hands-on engineering opportunities forstudents can inspire them to pursue challenging careers within the energy industry. Byfostering a nurturing, creative atmosphere not typically found among engineeringcurricula, more students can be attracted to engineering and graduate ready to faceenormous challenges.

Foroudastan, S. D. (2012, June), Collegiate Solar Boat Project Prepares Today’s Engineering Students for Tomorrow’s Energy Challenges Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21083

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