Main Mechanical Engineering Team

The University of New Mexico’s Mechanical Engineering SOLAR SPLASH team is comprised of nine senior-level Mechanical Engineering students and is advised by UNM professor Dr. Peter Vorobieff. Solar Splash student design leads are Michael Anselmi and Daniel Taylor. Learn more about the rest of the team in the Bio section below!




Michael Anselmi
UNM ASME President and Pi Tau Sigma Member

Michael Anselmi was offered the position of team lead before the end of last year's competition. He is excited to take on responsibility in this leadership role, finding it more beneficial than classroom group settings because it is a large-scale project and it’s in a real world setting. He feels fortunate to work with such a good team that is bringing the best this year and meeting high expectations. Last semester, along with Daniel Taylor and Daniel Freelong, Michael led the initial creation of this year's team as well as the selection analysis of the hull.
He is currently an intern at Sandia National Laboratories working in the Power Sources Department and is a recipient of the Exxon Mobil scholarship through the UNM School of Engineering. He is the newest re-charterer and current president of the UNM chapter of ASME. This summer, Michael will be getting married and moving to Arizona where he has been accepted to Arizona State University's Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering with plans to do research in fracture mechanics.

Daniel Taylor
ASME and Pi Tau Sigma member

Daniel already has a deep passion for the water, spending much of his childhood on a sailboat in Puget Sound. As the co-team lead he has been helping to get everyone moving together in the right direction and staying on task and organized in the many roles each person plays. Keeping the team small allows each member to be directly involved and stay passionate about the project, something that is important to the team. Daniel, along with Michael Anselmi and Daniel Freelong, led the initial development of this year’s team, including selecting the members and the design of the hull.
Daniel is currently interning at Sandia National Laboratories. After he graduates he plans to continue his internship while pursuing his master’s degree at UNM.

Daniel Freelong
UNM ASME Officer and Pi Tau Sigma Member

Daniel Freelong knew right away that he wanted to be involved with Solar Splash while doing analysis as part of a preliminary course he and other team members took under Dr. Vorobieff. He brings direct experience to the team from working on SOLAR SPLASH last semester in computational fluid dynamics. With his efforts, along with Michael Anselmi and Daniel Taylor, the team was recruited and the hull decision/analysis was made. He is glad to participate in an alternative to the traditional senior design projects, to be able to work with solar energy and to collaborate with the electrical engineering department. This projects his interest in renewable energy and the ability to work in a group environment with people of different backgrounds.
Daniel has interned at Albuquerque solar company, CFV Solar Test Laboratory. After graduating, he will be working on gaining the funds necessary to earn his master’s degree at UNM, focusing on thermal sciences in fluids and heat transfer.

Santiago Olguin
UNM SOLAR SPLASH Design and Research
Pi Tau Sigma Member

Santiago knows the value of teamwork in the engineering field and that the best ideas come from collaboration. The infrastructure and organization provided by SOLAR SPLASH allows the team to focus on better design, implementation and testing - like the testing of the effects of a new design of a casing around the propeller. He prefers to focus his work on solar power, knowing that renewable energy is the wave of the future, with the hope that it is sooner than later.
Before settling in at UNM, Santiago studied at the New Mexico Military Institute where he played baseball. He has also studied in California. Santiago is engaged to be married and deciding between an immediate pursuit of graduate school or joining the workforce. He hopes to follow one of his many interests in the engineering field of biomedical engineering or a focus on materials.

Adrienne Hindi Hubbard
UNM Solar Splash Marketing & Fundraising
ASME and AIAA Member

Adrienne appreciates being able to participate in a fun and unique application of renewable energy with the Solar Splash solar powered boat. The program gives her the rare opportunity of working on a large-scale project and competing in a prestigious competition. Her role in marketing and fundraising provides diversity to her academic career in a way that typical engineering courses do not. She is able to understand the importance and participate in the varied aspects required of seeing a large-scale project to completion.
Adrienne works at Albuquerque aerospace company, LoadPath, as part of a spacecraft thermal solutions team. She is working to become an astronaut by way of graduate school at UNM or the US Navy Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program.

Sean Fattor
UNM Solar Splash Purchasing Officer
Air Force R.O.T.C. Cadet Recruiting Officer and Pi Tau Sigma Member

Being the outdoorsy-type who loves to fish, the idea of a solar powered boat greatly interests Sean. Sunny New Mexico with abundant nature is the perfect location to usher in this project. While researching and deciding purchases, he and the team are taking into account that Solar Splash is a legacy program for UNM, and are working to leave a budget surplus. He is gaining the leadership skills that are created from being hands on in project and budget management and the dynamics of working with different people in a team.
Sean will be commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force and attending flight school at Columbus Air Force Base.

Robert Muyshondt
UNM Solar Splash Design and Research
ASME, Pi Tau Sigma, and Tau Beta Pi Member

Robert has always been interested in solar technology because renewable energy and saving the environment is something that is important to him. He had been looking forward to working with Solar Splash, giving him the opportunity to work hands on with solar energy.
Robert has been accepted to Texas A&M University to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

Terese Martinez
UNM Solar Splash Design and Research
UNM ASME Officer and Pi Tau Sigma Member

Terese was able to get her feet wet with Solar Splash last year through ASME. Her creative side lends to the design aspects of engineering and the build of the competition boat. Working on the Solar Splash team offers her the opportunity to be more hands on with other aspects of engineering as well, like systems and control. This gives her more experience in implementing the expertise of the electrical engineers who are collaborating with Solar Splash.
After graduation she plans to pursue her interests in biomedical engineering and biomechanics while earning her master’s degree out of state.

Michael Fry
UNM Solar Splash design and research

Michael chose Solar Splash to be part of the team that he is confident will take home the winning prize. He knows that energy is becoming one of humanity's biggest obstacles and engineers are at the forefront, finding alternative ways of powering the globe. Beyond gaining experience in the solar sector, working on the project gives Michael team skills, with this year’s Solar Splash team being eager to co-operate and help each other.
Michael has interned at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the deep geologic disposal of nuclear waste in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
After graduation he plans to find employment in the nuclear, oil and gas or any other type of energy generation industry.

Electrical Engineering Sub-Systems

Solar Panel System Design/Optimization

  • Cameron Pouncey - Cameron is a graduate student working with Professor Jane Lehr in the UNM ECE department. He is also the laboratory manager of the Applied Pulsed Energy, Discharge, and Ionization Center (APERIODIC) – the research group led by Prof. Lehr. His research interests include applied pulsed power technology, high voltage engineering, and electrical discharge physics. Before coming to UNM, Cameron worked as a defense contractor for 10 years on a wide range of electrical engineering programs. He provides technical advice to the Solar Splash team in the areas of power electronics, control system hardware, and hardware design and integration.
  • Luan Nguyen - Luan is a Masters student in the ECE department concentrating in Systems and Controls. He started working with multi rotors robots, sensor analyzing and site scanning and was working on the solar splash project on the side. Recently, he switched completely to work on this project. He has been working on developing and implementing the PID feedback controller. The controller is supposed to optimize the power efficiency  of the DC batteries for the best RPM.  After graduating in the Spring of 2017, he would like to work in the multi rotors (a.k.a drones) industry. He is also currently a member of IEEE and HKN.
  • Steven Maurice - Steve is a Masters student at UNM studying electrical engineering with an emphasis on Systems and Controls.  His research involves studying the application of artificial intelligent algorithms to robotics with the goal of intelligent assembly for manufacturing.  The role he has in the solar splash team is the Controls system team lead.  After graduation in the fall of 2017, he hopes to work in the Aerospace industry.


Maximum Power Point Tracker

As the interest raises for renewable energy sources, building an efficient PV system becomes trivial. In the process of production and integration of a PV system, losses occur. .We agreed that The maximum power point charge controller has a great impact on the efficiency of the system and was worth developing. An MPPT is an electronic DC to DC converter that optimizes the match between the solar panels and the battery bank. We convert a higher voltage from the solar panels down to the lower voltage needed to charge the batteries more efficiently. This product will be a great addition to the solar boat and will give the team an edge and make us rise against our competition.

  • Sayf Braj - Sayf is an undergraduate electrical engineering student, contracted project engineer at RRFB, and Data operator at IDI. He is the Project manager for the MPPT charge controller, and a member of the solar splash team. Sayf has always enjoyed working within a team and especially on renewable energy projects. He graduated from the university of sciences of Bizerte by the age of 21  with a degree in computer science and moved to the States when he was 24 to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at UNM. His favorite part of being on this team is that it allows him to gain hands-on experience and work with an interdisciplinary team of engineering students on a fun national competition.
  • Ursula Amezcua - Ursula is a senior undergraduate at UNM studying Electrical Engineering as well as a second major in Spanish. She is on the MPPT team acting as the technical writer and helping with hardware design. Shortly after graduation, she is getting married to her high school sweetheart and is currently searching for an engineering job in the Phoenix, Arizona area, where she hopes to build her career and settle down. This project will help her gain experience in the solar energy industry which will prove to be beneficial in her job search. She is excited to be a part of a collaborative team that gives a glimpse to a real world work environment and that is so optimistic about this project and wants to bring their best work forward. She is also the current president of the UNM chapter of Eta Kappa Nu.

Solar Tracker Design

More information coming soon!

Previous Year's Teams

2016 Team