Julie Phillips normally designs underground conduits for electric lines at her TEP job.

But the Civil Designer couldn’t pass up a chance to design an electric vehicle and charger – all made with food cans.

With her experience in computer-aided design, Phillips took the lead on TEP’s team for Canstruction Tucson, a building competition and fundraiser for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. In early June, the TEP team faced off at Park Place against three other teams of local architects, engineers, builders and contractors.

The team’s concept emphasizes TEP’s focus on clean transportation, supported by clean energy. The results really stack up: TEP plans to provide more than 70 percent of our power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035.

Julie drafted a schematic for the cansculpture, looking up standard can sizes to figure out how to make the structures. The team used about 2,100 tuna, vegetables and soup cans in the 13-hour effort, along with Velcro and approved adhesives to hold it together.

“The approach is really not any different than anything I normally do, although the canned food is easy in comparison to some of my TEP designs,” Phillips joked.

“I was a fun challenge, and we all felt good about helping out to address food insecurity in our community,” she said.

Other TEP participating team members included: Miranda Jackson, Mark Brown, Alex Skaug, Minerva Rivera Crill, Shea-Lynn Hoisington, Kathy Hackathorn, Jesus Martinez, Wendy Erica Werden, Oscar Vazquez and Alan Cook.

Watch our time lapse video of the work here.

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