Solar Car Entrepreneur to Speak at F. Alan Smith Lecture March 30
Florida Tech alumnus Julian Field, founding chairman of a start-up company preparing for the commercial launch of a solar-powered car boasting a 50-mile range, will be the featured speaker at the F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture Series on March 30.
The virtual event, “Making A Car Powered By The Sun,” runs from noon to 1 p.m. EDT and is co-sponsored by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Brevard Sustainability Working Group. The event is free, but registration is required at www.floridatech.edu/lectureseries.
In 2013, Field and his son James, both based in Yorkshire, England, began to design a solar-powered vehicle that they insisted be practical, affordable and road legal. The result was SPV1, which had a battery capable of recharging in three hours under normal daylight conditions.
Encouraged by their success and recognizing the commercial potential for solar vehicles, the Fields founded Solar Transport Systems and began work on a production vehicle. Six years later, they introduced the INTI, a two-seater named after the Incan sun god. Energy from the sun is stored in the INTI’s battery, which powers an electric motor up to a 50-mile range. The vehicle can also be plugged into a household outlet for additional range. The first INTIs are expected to be delivered in 2022.
Julian Field brings years of successful experience across multiple business sectors to his disruptive solar start-up. He was born in Argentina and raised in Venezuela and later attended Florida Tech, where he graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.
He began his diverse career as a senior field engineer with Schlumberger, a leader in oil and gas, with international assignments in Algeria, Nigeria and Gabon from 1985 through 1988. He later served as managing director at Tomlinson Furniture Ltd., a manufacturer and wholesaler of furniture, supplying an international network of retailers and distributors. He was also European marketing director at Courtaulds from 1989 to 1995. He was responsible for marketing and export sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the company’s $230 million aerospace paints and sealants business.
In 1999, he founded and led Furniture123.co.uk, the UK’s first online furniture retailer and eventually its largest. He sold it to Buy It Direct Ltd. in 2012.
In addition to his role at Solar Transport Systems, Field is also currently director of an education services business. He is a member of Florida Tech’s International Advisory Board, helping to mentor and tutor future alumni around the world.
The lecture series’ founder and benefactor is F. Alan Smith, who like Field brought innovation and passion to the business of automobiles. Smith spent more than three decades in leadership positions at General Motors in the U.S. and Canada, including serving as executive vice president of finance of General Motors and president and general manager of General Motors of Canada, Ltd.
Smith has served on Florida Tech’s Board of Trustees since 1996.
Find out more about the series at www.fit.edu/distinguished-lecture-series.