Youth Excellence

A 17-year old is making waves in the electric vehicle industry


You can't blame the youth—especially when they're this precocious. A 17-year old rising senior from Florida with a knack for engineering has already gotten recognition to the tune of $75,000 for his efforts in creating a novelty electric motor designed to combat rare-earth shortages for models used in electric vehicles.


Robert Sansone, who will enter his final year at Fort Pierce High School (near Port St. Lucie on Florida's eastern shore) this fall, earned the first prize, and $75,000 in winnings, at this year’s Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international high school STEM competition. He plans to use his earnings toward college tuition, and hopes to attend MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) next year.


Sansome's motor concept was inspired by the need for rare-earth materials used for electric vehicle motors, something he views under the umbrella of sustainability. He was recently featured in a Smithsonian Magazine article (written by daily correspondent Margaret Osborne) that details his work further:


"Over the course of a year, Sansone created a prototype of a novel synchronous reluctance motor that had greater rotational force—or torque—and efficiency than existing ones. The prototype was made from 3-D printed plastic, copper wires and a steel rotor and tested using a variety of meters to measure power and a laser tachometer to determine the motor’s rotational speed."

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