The UK’s longest running solar car team


Our story begins in 2002 when a group of students at Durham University decided it is time to develop a solar powered car. Ironically they chose to do so in arguably one of the coldest and wettest places on earth in the North of England. Undeterred, they pursued their dream and handed the baton down through successive generations to ensure their goals would never dissipate.

As a team, we have always recognised our solar car is so much more than an engineering marvel. Our world is facing an age of unbelievable change and momentum particularly in our climate. With global temperatures continuing to push ever higher, we all must accept responsibility for pushing towards a more sustainable future.

The total amount of energy available at the Earth’s surface from solar power exceeds the total power consumption of our planet by roughly a factor of 1,500. Harnessing this power is an unbelievable opportunity.

Take a look below at our timeline to find out more about where we have come from and where we are headed. You’ll also be able to see the strategy that underpins everything we do and our executive team for the forthcoming year.

The last 15 years have been an incredible journey for us. However, we are just getting started.

Our History

Our Strategy


Provide a powerful educational platform to inspire the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and others who dare to think different.


Raise public awareness of how innovative British engineering in solar power, renewable technologies and electric drive can leave the world better than we found it.


Leading the world in innovation and engineering excellence, creating the most efficient, fastest and most advanced solar electric vehicles ever seen.

Our Team

Oliver Headlam-Morley DUEM Exec Photo
I am a 4th year Mechanical Engineer at St Aidan's College. Having led the team for the academic year 2015/16, I am honoured to continue leading this fantastic team going forward into 2016/17 as we prepare to race in the 2017 World Solar Challenge.

Team PrincipalOliver Headlam-Morley

Tobias McBride Head of the Business Team DUEM Exec Photo
I am a 3rd year Economics Student at Durham. I am thrilled to be leading the Business Team for a third consecutive year, focusing on building new sponsorship relationships, producing engaging social media content, organising the outreach program to inspire the next generation and connecting with Durham Alumni. It's an incredibly exciting time at DUEM; we cannot wait to share it all with you!

Head of the Business TeamTobias McBride

Rob Battrum DUEM Exec Photo
I am a 4th year Engineer at St John's College. As Chief Engineer, I am responsible for ensuring that the car and the technical team behind it are race ready for our 3000 km journey through the Australian Outback in 2017. 

Chief EngineerRob Battrum

Adam Leach DUEM Exec Photo

Head of ElectricalAdam Leach

James Marriott DUEM Exec Photo
I am a 2nd year Engineering student at Collingwood College. I lead DUEM's mechanical team, ensuring the car's systems perform optimally & working together to deliver a competitive, reliable and safe package for the team's next race in 2017. 

Head of MechanicalJames Marriott

Kate Marles DUEM Exec Photo
I am a 3rd year Physics student at University College, Durham. As Treasurer, I am responsible for the society's finances and liaise with both the Engineering & Business Teams, working with them on assigning and monitoring their budgets. This year is a big year for the society and I can't wait!

TreasurerKate Marles

Ellie Desmond DUEM Exec Photo
I'm studying for an MSc in Biology at St John's College. I am DUEM's Head of Logistics, which means that I'm responsible for getting both our team and the car to Australia in 2017. Aside from my logistical role, I'm also one of the Solar Car drivers and am very much looking forward to driving the car from Darwin to Adelaide!

Head of LogisticsEllie Desmond

Andrew Messenger DUEM Exec Photo
I am a PhD student at Durham and a recent Durham graduate. I led the team in 2014/15 and, as Postgraduate Advisor, provide the team with guidance following on from my experiences as Team Principal.

Postgraduate AdvisorAndrew Messenger

Dr David Sims-Williams
I have been DUEM since its inception in 2002 and have seen it grown hugely since. It is great to see students at Durham doing such amazing work and fitting it in outside of their academic studies at this highly demanding university. DUSC2015 is our best car to date and I cannot wait to help the team in their efforts to race again in the World Solar Challenge in 2017.

Academic AdvisorDr. David Sims-Williams