Solar Splash nearing its goal

January 22, 2018

Thanks to the generosity of a donor, the UNM Solar Splash team is much closer to its goal, but your support is still vital to help the program reach its goal.

Roger Koerner, of Montgomery, Texas, gave $16,000 toward the $25,000 goal. solar team with award

Koerner, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UNM in 1968 and is retired from ExxonMobile, is a past donor to Solar Splash. In 2016, the team named their award-winning solar-powered boat after him, the Jolly Roger.

This unique, hands-on capstone design project teaches our students so much about real engineering, but this year it is in jeopardy due to lack of funds.

The team is scheduled to begin purchasing materials for designing and constructing their solar-powered boat soon in preparation for the international intercollegiate solar/electric boat regatta that takes place June 5-9, 2018, in Springfield, Ohio. However, the team needs around $25,000 to make sure this can happen.

Funds are needed for various aspects of the project, from acquiring the solar array to upgrading the drivetrain to transporting the boat — and the student team — across the country for the contest. The team has benefited from industry and individual support in the past, but substantial and sustaining support is now needed.

This is the third year the UNM will compete in the contest. As a rookie team in 2016, they placed fourth overall, second place in slalom, and were the highest-scoring rookie team. Last year, they won the Outstanding Solar System Design Award.

To make a donation, go to or contact Courtney Holmes at (505) 277-0664 or