The cool little side projects you take on at university can lead to big things. One of the members of Gizmodo’s 2013 World Solar Challenge partnership with Western Sydney University has moved to San Francisco to work with Tesla on a secretive engineering project.
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UWS graduate Jay Manley was the team lead when Gizmodo sponsored the university’s World Solar Challenge bid in 2013; the team of (then) three Bachelor of Engineering students started the project with $500, but by the time that the 2013 race came around the crew had $300,000 in its pocket and a roster of 20 students.
Although they didn’t drive the race to its 3022km conclusion, UWS managed a massive 2891km. The UWS team placed 11th in the race, but it built Jay an international network of contacts, and the base for entering into the most competitive of high-tech jobs markets in Silicon Valley.
The combination of World Solar Challenge experience and Manley’s own Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics) degree led to him being picked up by Tesla Motors and relocating to the US, where he now works as an engineering project manager. What he actually, specifically, works on — that’s top secret.
Although Jay’s actual announcement happened in late May, we actually learned of the development through the particularly cool 90-second stop-motion ad from Western Sydney Uni that you’ll see up the top. (Belated) congratulations, Jay!