When can I join the team?
Immediately! Most of our members join at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, but we gladly accept new recruits any day, even if school isn’t in session.
Do I have to be an engineering major to join?
No. While most of us are engineers or physicists of some sort, that does not stop some of our non-engineering recruits from becoming highly valued members, and it shouldn’t stop you either. More important than your background is the willingness to commit and learn new things. Moreover, many of our operations are non-technical: corporate relations, sponsorships, publicity, finances, etc., and we’d be more than happy to accept help in those areas.
What will I do in CalSol?
You can get involved in any and all states of designing and manufacturing a solar electric vehicle. CalSol provides a unique experience for Berkeley students to get hands-on with a large-scale engineering project that is an instrumental supplement to your education. Members can get experience in:
- 3D CAD modeling (computer aided design)
- Structural analysis with FEA (finite element analysis)
- Carbon fiber composites fabrication and testing
- Machining and welding
- PCB (printed circuit board) design and fabrication
- Programming microcontrollers
- Battery pack management and design
- Through-hole and surface mount soldering
- and so, so much more...
How do I join the team?
Short version: show up to a meeting and start working! We care more about your contributions than we do about the on-boarding details.
However, to get properly set up, follow these nearly-but-not-100%-comprehensive steps.
- Think about what subteams you’re interested in working with.
Read over our mechanical, electrical, and business team descriptions here and pick which subteam(s) you’d be most interested in joining.
Note: though our prospectives tend to be intimidated by this initial decision, this is not a binding commitment, and we encourage you to explore any and all other subteams once you have picked a good starting point. Moreover, it’s not unusual for people to end up working on multiple subteams, even across the mechanical/electrical/business teams, so don’t feel boxed in!
- Subscribe to the appropriate mailing lists.
CalSol communicates primarily by email, so subscribing to our lists is the quickest way to get in the loop.
If you know which subteams you want to join, you should subscribe to the subteam lists using the form here. It is recommended that you also subscribe to the general prospectives list. If successful, you should receive an email asking to confirm your subscription. You must follow the directions in that email to complete your subscription; otherwise you will not receive the relevant emails! If the form isn't working for you, instructions for manually subscribing are here.
- Find out when the next meeting is.
You will be able to learn the most from face-to-face contact, so find out when the next subteam and general meeting is. Our team calendar is public here. This is not always complete/accurate, however, so make sure to confirm with a team member or contact that subteam.
- Take care of membership formalities.
Follow these Membership Form Instructions. This document goes over officially joining for university records, a liability waiver, and the $20 membership fee.
If you have unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to contact the subteam or team leads.