The United Solar Challenge (USC) is an ISF recognized collegiate competition held in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)that promotes education, energy efficiency, and environmental consciousness.

While the USC seeks to encourage competition among engineering students, it is also aimed at providing a means to convert their knowledge into real world solutions that promote energy efficiency. It brings together students with diverse backgrounds from around the world and enables them to compete their hand-built solar powered cars in some of the most exciting destinations in the world.

The USC further allows students to share their common interest in automotive technology, sustainable energy, and hands on engineering, while learning about their respective cultures. The following concepts are integral to the competition:

  • Educational excellence in science, engineering and mathematics;
  • Creative integration of technical and scientific expertise across a wide-range of disciplines;
  • Hands-on experience to develop and demonstrate technical and creative abilities;
  • Understanding of marketing, business and management skills needed to execute large and complex projects;
  • Renewable energy technologies (specifically electric drive based projects and photovoltaics);
  • Environmental consciousness;
  • Safety in all aspects of the development, testing and driving;
  • Sportsmanship, friendship and co-operation


The USC championship trophy is a perpetual cup awarded to the winners of the USC challenges held every two years.  It is comprised of a gold sun over a solar array with elements that symbolize the United + Solar Challenge in the event name.  The rays of the sun consist of a circumferential chain of people holding hands signifying unity.  The array contains 24 solar cells, each dedicated to commemorate a USC competition, the date, and the name of the winning team.  The first awardee of the trophy is the Solar Team of  University of Michigan and Abu Dhabi University that won the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC).   The USC trophy will be presented to the winner of the Somabay Egyptian Solar Challenge (SESC) which will be held in Egypt on 17 - 21 March 2017.