Solar Boat Program at Cedarville Gives Engineers a Challenge

Ohio’s Cedarville University, in its commitment to maintaining quality engineering and computer science programs, thrusts its students into both internal and external competitions to test their skills in the physical world. The University’s success in the Solar Splash, an annual intercollegiate solar boat regatta, demonstrates their keenness to combine both the classroom with the real-world application of academics.

Using the 3D design software SolidWorks, Cedarville’s engineering and computer science department teaches more than 100 freshmen per year. Alongside running regular engineering competitions, such as a contest to design, build and race a cardboard canoe across a lake during homecoming weekend, they also enter national competitions.

“We want our students designing in SolidWorks because it’s the software they’ll use in the industry,” said Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Cedarville University.

“It’s so much more than CAD—it’s computer-aided engineering. Teaching students to use SolidWorks gives them a leg up in the job market, and testing their skills through different types of competitions keeps them engaged, encourages creativity and trains their minds to always be designing. SolidWorks has been a critical asset to the success of our engineering program.”

One of the most significant competitions that engineers at Cedarville have been involved in is the ‘Solar Splash,’ an intercollegiate solar-powered boat regatta. The contest comprises two challenges — one for endurance and one for speed — and requires precision in the design and construction of the entries.

Cedarville has won the Solar Splash six times.

“The Cedarville design team has a long track record of winning the Solar Splash competition and provides a fantastic example of how to build a robust engineering program using SolidWorks,” said Marie Planchard, director of education at Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the team does at this year’s Solar Splash event and to welcoming Cedarville’s current class to the design industry.”

Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Recognized nationally for its rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, Cedarville works with authorized SolidWorks reseller 3DVision Technologies for ongoing software training, implementation and support.