The departure of our naming rights partner, the RACV, has presented the Energy Breakthrough with many changes and opportunities. One of the key roles that the RACV team performed was the development and implementation of the technical specifications of the human powered (HPV) and energy efficient vehicles (EEV).

Today, we are pleased to introduce to you our two new Lead Scrutineers: Michael McTigue (pictured left) and Tim White (pictured right).

Before we move on we acknowledge the amazing efforts of the RACV Team

Above: Part of the RACV scrutineering and track teams of year’s past. We say ‘thank you’

Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the dedication, time and energy contributed by the RACV’s Ernest Litera and Greg Hill, who led the development and implementation of the safety specifications since 1991.

At the event – and throughout each year – Ernest and Greg were ably assisted by past RACV staff including Michael Burton, Frank Black, Blake Harris, Gary Young and John Doolan (among many others). On behalf of the thousands of students who have safely participated during their tenure, we say “Thank you”.

Now, looking to the future, who are our new Lead Scrutineers?

Tim and Michael have been known to our Energy Breakthrough (EB) team since 2000 and 2005 respectively. Their collective involvement and experience in the preparation of both human and hybrid powered vehicles is second to none.

We also appreciate each one holds a strong emphasis on education and student engagement, which is an essential aspect of our program and will be valued in their role as our Lead Scrutineers.

EB: I know you’re passionate about the Energy Breakthrough, but tell us about what you do when you’re away from it?

Tim White: I have taught in South Australia, Victoria and the UK. In my personal time I have been heavily involved in MOPAR car events as both a participant and a scrutineer.

I still currently teach at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, however, I handed over the responsibility to the building of the EB program to my colleagues many years ago. I miss the teaching of these EB classes, however, still manage to get my HPV & EEV“fix” by visiting events throughout the year.

Michael McTigue: I started a mechanics apprenticeship straight after finishing school at Damascus College in Ballarat. Shortly after completing my apprenticeship, I moved into the agricultural machinery industry and worked there for almost 10 years. I currently work for McCullochs Hydraulics in Bendigo, where I manage the Service Area, Machine Shop and Fabrication Departments.

EB: What was the first HPV event you ever attended? 

The Energy Breakthrough in 1998

Above: The Energy Breakthrough in 1998. We’ve come a long way since then!

Tim: My first event was the 1998 Australian International Pedal Prix with Hamilton Secondary College from South Australia. Boy, so many things have changed since that race! Back then we had two hybrid vehicles (now called EEV’s) that did well in the day, however, they are nothing compared to the technologies, innovations and dare I say the level of “safety” that is present in today’s vehicles.

Michael: It was actually 1998 for me, too, but for me I went to the Energy Breakthrough. I went with a friend and his parents to have a look. From then on, I was hooked!

EB: Which schools and teams have you each been involved in through HPV / EEV?

Tim: As I mentioned earlier, Hamilton Secondary College (SA) and Bendigo Senior Secondary College. Beyond that I have supported many Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Community HPV teams to become established and successful teams within the HPV community.

Michael: I attended Damascus College in Ballarat and started participating in the EB in 2000. After school I also worked with Highview College in Maryborough for a number of years and then many Community HPV teams including Aurora, Trisled and TruBlu.

EB: Any special memories or highlights that stand out to you?

Michael: My favourite moment, was not a win or result personally, it was seeing a team of kids at Highview building new innovative vehicles, and then going out and having a blast racing them.

Tim: Every year that I have been involved in the HPV and EEV events I see amazing highlights, however not all of these are on the track. The leaps forward in innovation, design, professionalism and safety have been amazing to see over the past 20 years.

The overall highlight is seeing students grow from shy members of their teams and community with little confidence in their own ability; and then they become amazing contributors and leaders.

Students who have gone on to work for the Armed Forces, V8 Supercars, develop products for Formula 1, Rally, become Teachers, Nurses, Engineers, Architects, HR professionals, PR, event organisers, tradespeople … the list goes on! These have by far been my highlights over the years.

Blog Bronte McDonald Wheel Inventor Bendigo

Above: Bronte McDonald, a former Energy Breakthrough Bendigo Senior SC student of Tim White’s and Bendigo Young Inventor of the Year for her Carbon Fibre wheels. Bronte is now at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

EB: What appeals to you most about the Energy Breakthrough program?

Tim: The Energy Breakthrough is the most important programs in education I have seen in my career and one I look forward to supporting into the future.

It would have to be the educational focus of the event as this provides students with a focus like no other events. The ability for students to learn, think outside of the box, problem solve, have fun while learning and culminating in an educational racing competition/event for all to see and participate. It is truly a student and school focused event.

Michael: There is no other event like the EB in the world! I’ve spoken to thousands of current and past participants and nobody ever leaves the event unhappy. There is a great learning culture, as well as some friendly competition. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been as successful in my career after school, without the skills that I gained from being a part of the EB.

EB: Looking towards this year, how would you describe your approach to Scrutineering at this year’s EB?

Tim: Understanding, Supportive, Friendly and Fair – Michael and I have each been on both sides of Scrutineering.

Primarily, we are there to help ensure the safety of the participants and spectators, however we are also there to support and encourage the understanding involved in this amazing event. We want to see all students out there enjoying the vehicles they have been involve in building throughout the year.

Michael: My approach is very similar to Tim’s. We are all about making scrutineering an enjoyable and pleasant experience. There is no need to be nervous. You should be very proud to present the vehicle that you have spent so much time and energy working on. We will be very approachable and more than happy to offer suggestions and solutions to ensure everyone gets to safely participate out on the track.

Above: Students present their helmets for scrutineering in the Energy Efficient Vehicle class.

EB: Any advice for Team Managers, students and parents preparing a vehicle for this year’s EB?

  1. Ask a question if you are unsure.
    The EB team and other schools are happy to help. There is always something new to learn.
  2. Introduce yourself to other teams.
    Don’t be shy, say hello and get in contact at any time during the year and events.
  3. Share your understanding of the vehicles.
    Allow the growth of this event to be seen by all, students, teachers, schools, everyone. It can only benefit everyone in the long run.
  4. Really study the Handbook.
    We’ve found looking through it as a team can really help to clear up any grey areas.
  5. The Handbook is the guideline in which to build a vehicle.
    … But there is still plenty of room for innovation, so make sure you keep the new ideas coming!
  6. Plan and prepare for the event.
    It will ensure that you get the most out of the event itself.
  7. Have fun!

Got technical questions?


Teams are encouraged to direct their queries via their Team Managers to enquiries[at] and these will be logged and then passed on to Tim and Michael for review.


We will endeavour to publish regular technical updates via this website.
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