Team PrISUm is a student-run organization and was founded in 1989 as a Tau Beta Pi project in the Iowa State University College of Engineering. At that time, the team was known simply as the ISU Solar Car Project. It has been building and racing solar cars since the first GM Sunrayce in 1990.
By 1995 the team took the name of its first car, "PrISUm" for itself. Soon after its inception, Team PrISUm opened up membership to students of all majors. PrISUm is the only team that has competed in every cross country American solar car race. Over the years, PrISUm has become an integral part of the college experience for many Iowa State students.
The technology used in our modern cars has changed considerably from the early days, but the team spirit has not. We remain committed to designing and building the best solar racing vehicles possible in the 21st century. We are currently in the design stage of our 13th generation solar car which will compete in the 2016 American Solar Challenge. Our goal is to build on the many successes of our previous car, Phaëton, while improving reliability of the electrical system.
The 13th generation vehicle will be the team’s first 4 wheeled vehicle since Sol Invictus in 2008. Completion of the car is slated for spring 2016 allowing for ample test time before the summer race. The team will race Phaëton again at the 2015 Formula Sun Grand Prix. Team PrISUm is led by a dedicated group of students who provide oversight for the various aspects of our project.
With a dwindling supply of traditional energy sources such as coal and crude oil, the search for viable alternatives is a serious problem facing the world today. Team PrISUm continues to demonstrate the potential of solar power as part of the solution to these problems. We strive to use our knowledge in engineering to create innovative, energy efficient solar vehicles. Team PrISUm represents Iowa State University in the American Solar Challenge among a strong field of solar car teams from around the world. Equally important is our dedication to educating the public about advances in vehicle efficiency and the capabilities of solar energy. We hope to inspire the bright minds of tomorrow to search for sustainable solutions to the planet's biggest problems.