The Zip-Tie Award was created in 2008 to honor UK Solar Car Team members who exhibit extraordinary achievements for the project and go above and beyond the call of duty. Its recipients are selected as necessary by the team officers.
This award is named in honor of Gato del Sol III’s “guardian angel”, a machinist and racer named “Zip-Tie” residing in Fargo, ND. During the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, Gato 3 suffered a failed suspension pushrod following a pothole impact. After the car pulled up lame in northern Minnesota, the team trailered it into Fargo. The team was in dire straits, without a spare part or the tools necessary to make one. Worse yet, it was a Friday night, and most machine shops would be closed until Monday. The team was set up in the parking lot of the Kelly Inn desperately trying to devise a solution. Just then, a man and a woman arrived on a motorcycle. While they were looking at the car, a team member jokingly yelled from the trailer, “You don’t happen to have a lathe, do you?” Fortunately, the man known as “Zip-Tie” (a nickname given for the temporary fasteners that adorned his ears) responded, “Well, actually, I’m a machinist!” After a call to a friend at a local utility company machine shop, Zip-Tie took off with some steel bar stock and the remaining unbroken pushrod. Within 45 minutes he returned with two spare steel pushrods, enabling the UK Solar Car Team to continue from Fargo to Calgary, AB, and complete its first successful cross-country race. We identify Zip-Tie as our guardian angel after learning that the grandmother of Mechanical Team Leader Anthony Robertson had been holding a prayer vigil that night asking for a machinist to help our team. Always have faith!
List of Recipients:
|Zach Hawkins||April 14th, 2011||Worked to put Gato IV in running order, including the brake system, at garage until 3am so the car could be driven for a sponsor visit the next day.|
|Kyle Stein||April 14th, 2011||Worked to put Gato IV in running order, including the brake system, at garage until 3am so the car could be driven for a sponsor visit the next day.|
|Jimmy Frilling||November 30, 2010||Completely rewired Gato 4 chassis without prior knowledge of car’s electronics in time for a sponsor visit|
|Jared Greco||April 20, 2009||Contacting City Electric to replace motor bearings, donate new front wheel bearings|
|Brent White||Spring 2009||Personally securing $3000 in funding from UK Student Government|
|Jerry Muir||Spring 2009||Extraordinary time commitment to the team, help influencing tire sponsor support|
|Matt Deye||Fall 2008||Fixing Gato 3 just in time for Governor Beshear to drive it|