March 26, 2010

Blast from the Past

A little history behind the VRI at WWU:

When Dr. Michael Seal, “Doc,” founded the Vehicle Research Institute (VRI) at Western Washington University in 1975, he had a simple goal: make cars that are lighter, faster, and more efficient in every way. Since then, over 40 vehicles have been designed and built by undergraduate students and faculty that do just that.

As one of the leading schools for automotive design in the region, the WWU VRI has a long track record of excellence both in competition and in the media. The VRI has been awarded the EPA's P3 Award for vehicle emissions, displayed a vehicle at NASA Ames research labs in California, been mentioned at the Los Angeles International Auto Show and published in Seattle Metropolitan, Automotive Magazine, and on

The WWU X PRIZE Team works along side the WWU Mini Baja Team, Formula FSAE Team, and Hybrid Bus Team within the VRI. Over the years, more than $7,000,000 has been raised by the VRI in grants from government, industry and private individuals to complete the various projects in the VRI.

March 25, 2010

What's in a Name?

Of all the car names out there right now, ours is probably one of the more interesting: Viking 45. But where did it come from? And what does it mean? It’s a simple answer, really.

The fierce Viking is the mascot for Western Washington University. Since its founding in 1979, each vehicle from WWU’s Vehicle Research Institute has been given the name “Viking” followed by the successive number.

To see past vehicles, visit the VRI site: