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180 mph, Zero Driver

 

Clemson students engineer first-ever high-speed autonomous Indy race car

 

Engineering a driverless vehicle is hard enough. Designing it to exceed 180 mph and race alongside nine identical cars safely is nearly impossible. That’s exactly what 40 Clemson students, 38 partners and an army of visionary innovators did to put on the world’s first high-speed autonomous vehicle race. Clemson’s project represents one of the most advanced self-driving challenges ever attempted and one of the first university-designed vehicles to go into commercial production.

Self-driving technology is transforming the mobility industry. Companies pour millions into R&D efforts, hire specialized engineers and log millions of road miles in the race for advanced capabilities and untapped business opportunities. Driverless motorsports push the limits, achieving unprecedented speed, synchronicity, reliability and redundancy. These “edge cases” can save lives through safer and smarter cars.

This daunting challenge demanded world-class automotive expertise, facilities and resources to pull it off in just 18 months. Now in its 14th year, Clemson’s Deep Orange program pairs automotive engineering graduate students with equipment manufacturers to develop targeted prototypes. The process starts with a carefully crafted grand challenge, followed by curating an appropriately skilled student team, defining project scope and design parameters, assembling an ecosystem of industry partners, and hitting milestones for engineering, fabrication and validation.

Students not only developed complicated autonomous systems but also engineered novel hardware and advanced propulsion packages, integrated first-ever race control procedures, and fit everything into a tightly constrained aerodynamic package.

At 180 mph, Clemson’s race car covers the length of a football field in 1.2 seconds. The sensor suite — including six cameras, four radars, three long-distance LiDARs and two high-precision GPSes — can fill a 1TB hard drive in 20 minutes. For scale, the Hubble Space Telescope generates 10TB of data per year.

In March 2021, students tested their designs during a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In May, they unveiled their finished self-driving race car at the Indy 500. And in October, the team celebrated as 10 identical copies of their design sped around the 2.5-mile oval track.

“We say it all the time, but the ideal outcome of Deep Orange is highly capable students,” said Chris Paredis, BMW Endowed Chair in Automotive Systems Integration and Deep Orange program director. “This was an incredibly challenging project, but if our experience tells us anything, it’s that these learning experiences have a tremendous impact on their success after they leave Clemson.”

 

 

The Power of Scholarships

 

It has been just over a year since Billy and Ann Powers made the largest gift in Clemson’s history to the College of Business, making a difference in the lives of Clemson students, faculty and staff. The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is garnering national recognition for innovative programming, collaborative partnerships, and outstanding learning opportunities both in the classroom and the workplace.

A portion of the Powers family’s gift created a flexible endowment to ensure that every deserving student has access to these amazing learning opportunities for generations to come. This year, funds from the endowment provided $60,000 in merit- and need-based awards to 30 business students.

Courtney Brunson is one of those students. The management major from Florence, South Carolina, plans to graduate in December 2022 and pursue a career in human resources. Brunson explains that becoming a Powers Scholar is an honor that relieves the financial pressure during those important final semesters of study. She says, “I am so grateful to receive this scholarship because my parents and I work very hard all year to be able to afford for me to go to Clemson.”

Her love for Clemson and the gratitude Brunson feels toward the Powers family have inspired her to give back someday when she is able. She plans to use her Clemson degree to impact her community by participating in the Clemson Alumni Association, where she hopes to encourage and promote education and professional development. She says, “I am so proud and happy to be a part of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. With this scholarship, I am determined to represent the College to the best of my ability through academic success and community service.”

 

The Roaring10 2020 Nominees

 

Young Alumni Council recognizes its 2020 nominees

 

The Roaring10 honor is given to individuals who exemplify the University’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Each year, 10 outstanding young alumni are recognized by the Young Alumni Council for their impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.

 

The Roaring10 Class of 2020 were recognized in Fall 2021:

Brittany M. Hall ’11
certified nurse-midwife, Easley, S.C.

Caroline Aneskievich ’10, ’11, M ’15
BMW Group’s talent management specialist for the Americas, Greenville

Josh Tew ’10, M ’14
commercial real estate, Pintail Capital Partners, Greenville

Edwin Sabuhoro Ph.D. ’18
assistant professor in both the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and the African Studies Program at Penn State University,
State College, Penn.

Dorothy H. Askins ’17
anesthesiology resident at Tulane University, New Orleans

Ansley Cartee Minor ’17
co-owner of Carolina Superstars Baton and Dance, Anderson, S.C.

Rebecca Leigh Stratford ’10
laboratory manager at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Clarksville, Tenn.

Spencer C. McLeod ’12, M ’14
operations manager for McLeod Farms, McBee, S.C.

Jordan M. Burns ’12
financial adviser and field director at Northwestern Mutual, Greenville

Lauren Harroff Trondsen ’12
Citywise Advisory Services, Sanergy, Ithaca, N.Y.

 

Club News

Crab Feast

The Baltimore/D.C. Clemson Club held their 19th Crab Feast on August 7, 2021, hosted by Cindy ’90 and Mark ’91 Derrick and their family. “It was a very memorable day for our Clemson Club members and guests as we appreciated being able to gather again in person to enjoy each other’s company and plenty of crabs!” wrote club president Rachael Wiker ’00.

 

Funds for Food

The Villages Chapter of the Central Florida Clemson Club secured their third-straight first-place trophy for the Funds for Food annual food drive. The chapter raised $12,359.25. “My husband, Riley, would have been proud of our ‘little ole Clemson Club’ beating Ohio State and Penn State and all the others again!” wrote chapter president Amy Huckaby ’79. “Club member Bob Bienvenue and his extremely talented drumline led us around the square and to victory for our first-ever first-place spirit award!”

 

Clemson Family Tailgate

Tigers from all over the country gathered in Pittsburgh to cheer on Clemson Football and to celebrate Clemson’s first visit to Pittsburgh since the University of Pittsburgh joined the ACC Conference. Upon arrival on Friday evening, members of the Clemson Family gathered at Federal Galley in Pittsburgh’s North Shore for a Welcome to Pittsburgh event.

Prior to the game on Saturday, 400 Tigers set sail with the Clemson Alumni Association, IPTAY and the Gateway Clipper Fleet for the first-ever floating Clemson Family Tailgate. Guests enjoyed a sailing tour of Pittsburgh on The Empress and a Pittsburgh barbecue feast.

 

Orange Shoe Event

 

Fall gathering kicks off Fall Into Fitness Challenge

 

The Women’s Alumni Council held their second Orange Shoe Event on the night of September 10, 2021, in the courtyard at the Inn at Patrick Square following its annual Fall Meeting. The council also collected donations for the Paw Pantry, Career Closet and the ClemsonLIFE program. In addition to the Fall Meeting, the council held a blood drive for the Blood Connection during the afternoon. There were 23 donors, and the Blood Connection gave a donation to the WAC Scholarship Endowment for each donor.

At the Orange Shoe Event, attendees enjoyed perusing tables full of silent auction items and milling about the front lawn area of the Inn at Patrick Square, which was transformed into a large tailgate, complete with helmet blow-ups, tents, chairs and outdoor games. The Tiger mascot entertained the crowd, and DJ Sha  kept everyone dancing with music throughout the night. Boulevard Catering also provided food and beverages. Proceeds from the silent auction went toward WAC’s scholarship endowment, which awards 10–12 scholarships to Clemson students each year; just under $5,000 was raised.

All attendees were encouraged to wear orange shoes to the event, and styles ranged from sandals to casual sneakers to high heels with orange flames. The event also kicked off WAC’s second Fall Into Fitness Challenge — Orange Shoe edition. This virtual fitness event was started last year during the pandemic. This year, participants are encouraged get active with their family and friends while sporting their orange shoes and sharing on social media.