Introducing Tehau


We are excited to introduce you to 3rd Year Mechatronics Engineering Student – Tehau Paea. Tehau brings a big personality and plenty of energy to  team ASCEND.

What is your role on the team?   

At this point, I am the Electrical System Lead on the ASCEND team. My work has mainly revolved around optimisation and further development of the twelve-volt system This is the system that is responsible for powering all low-voltage and auxiliary components. I have also been a part of various other tasks. 

What is exciting about the project? What have you learned so far?  

For me, the entire project is exciting. I’ve always enjoyed working on cars and troubleshooting issues that arise. The solar car has supplied me with the opportunity to open up a brand-new can of worms, so to speak. 

Of the many things I’ve learned over my time on the ASCEND team two lessons I’ve picked up are:  No. 1   If you think it’s not critical… check again, it probably is.  No. 2   Just get it done! 

What would you like to get out of the Ascend Solar Car Project?  

Personally, I’d like a photograph of myself, covered in dust and days’ worth of grime, with the solar car in the middle of the Australian desert at sunset with the caption, “Desert Runner”. 

Why did you want to join the team?  

I really wanted to continue studying over trimester three but the option just wasn’t there for me to take on any units. I then heard about the Solar Car project from several of my friends and quickly got myself in. 

What do you love about the team?  

The friends I’ve made. 

What are some of the challenges you have faced working on the project?  

Honestly, being able to work around multiple people on a project has been quite challenging. 

What is your top highlight from your time on the team?  

When Matt had an oopsie showcasing the car to the sponsor and talked about “monotonous vehicles” instead of “autonomous vehicles”. 

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in the WSC?  

Getting to meet the other international Solar Car teams competing in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Hear more from Tehau about working on the ASCEND Solar Car Project and having a career in STEM in his "Mythbusting STEM" interview.