There are many activities, clubs and teams at UMR, but there are several design teams that frequently take the spotlight for
being the most representative of UMR's engineering emphasis.
UMR's solar car team has met with much success in recent years. Every two years, the team constructs a sleek single-passenger
car lined with solar cells that runs exclusively from solar power from the
Sun. The car's aluminum frame houses lithium ion batteries, which are much lighter than conventional lead-acid batteries. The driver lays on his back, instead of in an upright position, to make the
car's design more aerodynamic. The car has a joystick instead of a steering wheel to allow the driver
to exit the car more quickly. Every time the car is rebuilt, design changes are made to make it lighter and more efficient. The
team regularly enters solar car races in the United States and occasionally in
international races. The car claimed first place in Sunrayce '99, third place in the Australian World Solar Challenge in 1999,
first place in the 2000 Formula Sun Grand Prix, second place in the 2001 American Solar Challenge
, and first place in the 2003 American Solar
Formula SAE car
UMR's Formula SAE team constructs a small formula-style prototype race car every year. The premise of the competition is that the students
have been contracted by a corporation to design and build a car with the intent of mass production for weekend autocrossers. The team competes
in Pontiac, Michigan against more than 100 other teams from
universities around the world. The vehicle's cost, sales presentation, engineering design, acceleration, braking, and racing
performance all factor in to its final score. The team has placed in the top twentieth overall in nine of the past twelve
competitions, including third and fourth place finishes.
UMR's Concrete Canoe Team designs and constructs a canoe out of concrete and races it on a lake in regional and national competitions. The team has
participated in concrete canoe competitions since the 1970s. The entire project,
including fundraising and construction, is completed by the students. The team took third place in 2004.
Human powered vehicle
The UMR Human Powered Vehicle Team constructs a man-powered land vehicle every year to compete in the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers' Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. The vehicle, which looks something like a bobsled with bicycle wheels, must be light, highly efficient and
powered only by its single occupant.