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UNI to host world championship of intercollegiate solar boat racing June 13-17

June 5, 2012

Reg Pecen, professor, industrial technology, 319-273-2598,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host the 2012 Solar Splash World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar Boat Racing for the second time, Wednesday, June 13 through Sunday, June 17, at George Wyth State Park.

According to Reg Pecen, UNI professor of industrial technology, Solar Splash began in Milwaukee in 1994 and is a hands-on educational experience that develops teamwork and interdisciplinary skills. "This competition allows undergraduates to be involved in applied engineering and technology research on alternate and green water transportation and to develop confidence in their abilities." The event is one of UNI’s many efforts on promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) among young Iowans.

Pecen says UNI's team is honored to be hosting an international event of this magnitude. "Solar Splash is dedicated to spotlighting sustainable and clean boating technologies, and this is something Iowa's lakes and rivers could clearly benefit from."

During the five-day event, Solar Splash teams earn points in seven categories, including technical inspections and reports, engineering design, visual displays, workmanship, and on-the-water sprint, endurance and slalom competitions. Competitors are mostly from U.S. colleges; there are also international teams from Turkey, England and Mexico.

The solar slalom will begin at 9 a.m., on Thursday, June 14 and sprint heats begin at 1:20 p.m., on Friday, June 17. At 9:30 a.m., on Saturday, June 16, endurance heats will start and at 1:45 p.m., on Sunday, June 17, is the sprint championship followed by the awards ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Pecen at 319-273-2598 or