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UNI's solar electric boat to compete in international competition this week<br>

Contact: 

Recayi Pecen, UNI assistant professor of industrial technology, (319) 273-2598
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Four recent graduates of the University of Northern Iowa's electro-mechanical systems major/engineering technology program are competing this week in the Ninth International Solar Electric Boat Regatta in Buffalo, N.Y.

The UNI solar electric boat team left Tuesday, June 18, with their adviser, Recayi Pecen, UNI assistant professor of industrial technology and program coordinator for their major. The world championship of solar electric boating runs Wednesday, June 19, through Sunday, June 23. Nearly two dozen schools have entered teams in the competition, including the U.S. Naval and Coast Guard academies. They will compete in slalom, sprint and endurance races using either direct solar energy or solar energy stored in electric batteries.

UNI team members are Bryan Anfinson of Pierson, Chad Boudreaux of New Orleans, Dave Dusanek of Monticello and Mark Nelson of Muscatine. The foursome began work last fall on their 110-pound fiberglass solar electric boat, doing research and design and obtaining sponsors.

UNI's boat is one of the lighter entries, according to Nelson and has clocked in at 22 mph in some of its latest tests. Last year's winner came in at 24 mph, so the team believes it can place well in the rankings.

Pecen said UNI's zero-emission solar boat promotes eco-friendly boat technologies on Iowa lakes and rivers. He said studies show a considerable amount of oil and gas leaks and run-offs into the water from regular boat motors.

Sponsors for the UNI solar electric boat include Blain's Farm and Fleet, Denso Electric Co., Iowa Energy Center, John Deere Industries, Midwest Fabrication, Optima Batteries, Rockwell Collins, WBM Marine, Cryogenic Inc. and UNI.

For more information, visit the project Web site, www.uni.edu/indtech/ems/senproj2002.html.