Istanbul Technical University took first place at the 2012 IEEE Power Electronics Society Solar Splash Competition, the World Championship of intercollegiate Solar/Electric boating, 13-17 June in Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa. It is the first time a team from outside the United States has won the competition. Teams from 15 universities designed and constructed their own solar boats for the sprint and endurance races. Second and third place winners were Cedarville University and the University of Northern Iowa.
The competition consisted of five on-the-water events. Points were earned in seven categories. On-site competitions included visual displays and workmanship. On-the-water events began with a sprint and a maneuverability qualifier, followed by an event called the Solar Slalom, a combination of speed and maneuverability. The final days were spent in the sprint and endurance events. After passing inspection, the teams were entered into the Slalom and sprint heats. The qualification races ran from Thursday to Friday. All teams present qualified to be in the finals.
Timothy Dwight, former University of Iowa NFL Professional Football player, attended the event to speak to the teams about solar power. Mr. Dwight, who is an advocate for green energy and solar power, is currently the Director of iPower (Integrated Power Corporation). He encouraged the students to pursue careers in green energy- related fields. Other speakers included Reg Pecen, UNI 2012 IEEE PELS Solar Splash Administrator, Jeffrey Morehouse – University of South Carolina and IEEE PELS Solar Splash Headquarters, Donna Florek, Senior Administrator of the Power Electronics Society, and Andries van Weperen, University of Delft The Netherlands, International Ambassador for Dong Energy Solar Challenge – World Cup for Solar Powered Boats.