The North Texan, Volume 40, Number 3, September 1990 Page: 2
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BY HILL PATTERSON READ III
The Project Centennial waits at the starting line at
Epcot Center in Florida to begin the solar car race.
he University of North Texas crew fought off
fatigue and cloudy skies to finish 18th in the GM Sunrayce
USA, a 32-car collegiate solar-powered car race July 9-19.
The car — named Centennial — was driven by Lee
Palmer, Greg Mitchell and Jeff Curtis, all recent industrial
technology graduates. Dr. John Dobson of the industrial
technology faculty was the team's supervisor.
UNT, selected from more than 100 applicants to com-
pete in the 1,641 -mile race from Florida to Michigan, was
one of only three entries from schools without engineering
"We built our car from the ground up," said Palmer.
"There's not much off-the-shelf technology in it. The only
thing we didn't build with our own hands was the motor."
UNT's Centennial finished ahead of 14 schools, includ-
ing The University of Texas (22nd), Dartmouth College,
Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University
and Villanova University.
Dr. Dobson and a group of industrial technology stu-
dents worked 19 months to design and build the solar car.
UNT's solar car entry arrives at the finish line in
The Centennial was the lightest car in the race, weighing
only 377 pounds without a driver. Using many lightweight
bicycle parts, the three-wheeled vehicle was built for
endurance rather than speed. Generating only 1 horse-
power —about half as much as a handheld hair dryer—the
car averaged 23 miles per hour. But because it rained or was
cloudy seven of the 11 days, the UNT effort was hampered
by a lack of continuous sunlight.
Palmer said the UNT car was an application of solar
power technology using existing know-how and came
closer than most competitors to General Motors Corp.'s
announced intentions to have students build frugally. For
example, some cars were equipped with $20,000 silver-
zinc batteries, while UNT's $300 lead-acid batteries were
capable of generating only about half as much power.
Many cars also used $200,000 solar cell systems, the kind
satellites use, to collect the sun's rays much more effi-
ciently than UNT's $4,200 cells. Team members believe
they would have finished 10th with silver-zinc batteries.
Eventual winner University of Michigan reportedly
VOL. 40, NO. 3 SEPTEMBER 1990
DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND INFORMATION SERV-
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR—Carolyn Barnes
UNIVERSITY EDITOR—Lynn Dancey Rudkin
ART DIRECTOR—Larry Paul Jones
PHOTOGRAPHERS—Dan Santema, Loretta Zierhut
CONTRIBUTORS—Carolyn Barnes, Castle Mailing Center Inc., P.J.
Davis, Beverly Fletcher, Charlotte Guest, Mark Harris, Barbara McKin-
ley, Hill Patterson Read III, Sylvia Smith, Peggy Spencer, Elaine Steams,
University of North Texas Printing Services, Rose Watson
The North Texan (U.S.P.S. 394-960) is published four times a year (in
March, June, September and December) by the University of North
Texas, Room 309 Administration Building, Denton, Texas 76203-5128,
for distribution to alumni, students, faculty, staff and other friends of the
university. Second class postage paid at Denton, Texas, and at additional
The diverse views on matters of public interest that are presented in The
North Texan do not necessarily reflect official policies of the university.
It is the policy of the University of North Texas not to discriminate on
the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, national origin or handicap in
its educational programs, activities, admissions or employment policies.
Postmaster: Please send requests for changes of address, accompanied if
possible by old address labels, to the Office of Public Affairs and
Information Services, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 5128, Denton,
NOTES ABOUT CLASS NEWS
Mail information for alumni class notes to: Records, Office of Ad-
vancement, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 13557, Denton, Texas
76203-3557. Due to space limitations, some class notes may be held for
FYI ABOUT TRANSCRIPTS
Present and former students should send a $3 processing fee when
requesting transcripts of their permanent student records. Send checks to:
Transcripts, Registrar's Office, University of North Texas, P.O. Box
13797, Denton, Texas 76203-3797. Include your full name (including all
names on official records), Social Security number and the last semester
you were enrolled. Give complete instruction for where copies should be
To reach any office at the University of North Texas, call
metro (817) 267-3731 or
System aids disaster recovery
The emergency administration and planning department
at UNT has received a $50,000 software package from
Strohl Systems of Tampa, Fla., for student and faculty use.
The computer package is Strohl's Living Disaster Re-
covery Planning System. Col. Bob Reed, chair of emer-
gency administration and planning, said the LDRPS is a
business system designed to establish recovery plans to
ensure continued operations in the event of a disaster or dis-
"When you have a disaster, you not only have to plan
how to meet it, but what to do after it's over," Col. Reed
said. "That can involve what you do before any disaster—
like duplicating key records and keeping them in different
places, or having a backup system ready to go into effect."
The program will be used in classes this fall and eventu-
ally applied to the entire campus.
UNT, which offers the only undergraduate program in
emergency administration and planning in the state, was
the first university in the nation to establish a degree
program in the field.
Program first in state
UNT is the first university in the state to receive a five-
year accreditation for its recreation and leisure studies
undergraduate degree program.
The recreation and leisure studies program is accredited
for its degree plans in therapeutic recreation and program
management and administration. Only 89 programs in the
country are accredited, Rossman said. Accreditation is
.given by the Council on Accreditation sponsored by the
National Recreation and Park Association.
College developing new technology
UNT, in collaboration with The University of Texas at
Austin, has been awarded an $800,000 state grant to
establish the Texas Center for Educational Technology on
the UNT campus.
TCET will conduct research, develop prototypes and
disseminate findings about the applications of technology
in education, Dr. James Poirot, chair of the UNT computer
education and cognitive systems department, said.
School districts, universities, community colleges and
private companies engaged in the development of com-
puter software and hardware, educational materials, tests
and related products will be invited to participate as members
or associate members.
Dr. Poirot said the use of "educational technology"
involves "such simple things as speaker phones, overhead
projectors, inexpensive handheld calculators and com-
puter linkups around the state. A lot of these technologies
are routinely used in business but we haven't translated
their use into education."
Dr. Jim Miller, dean of the UNT College of Education,
said, "The potential is enormous for improving the oppor-
tunities for student learning — distance learning, dry labs,
computer-assisted instruction, artificial intelligence pro-
grams, telecommunications, as well as self-pacing and
Dean's Office restructured
Dr. Joe Stewart, dean of students at the University of
North Texas since 1975, has been promoted to the newly
created post of vice president for student affairs.
Also promoted were Barbara Jungjohan, associate dean
of students, to associate vice president and Dr. Greg
Sawyer, associate dean, to dean of students.
The North Texan September 1990
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University of North Texas. The North Texan, Volume 40, Number 3, September 1990, periodical, September 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98913/m1/2/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.