MANILA, Philippines - Team Philippines, composed of students from Don Bosco Technical Institute, Mapua Institute of Technology and University of Santo Tomas (UST), did not come home empty-handed after competing in the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia last week in Malaysia.
The Philippines brought home 2 special awards from the inaugural event held from July 8 to 10 at the Sepang International Circuit.
Mapua’s Team Atalanta received the 2nd place Safety Award, trailing 1st placer NUS Urban Concept of National University of Singapore and leading 3rd placer Autodesk Zeal Eco-Power of China’s Tongji University.
The winners were chosen based on the safety features of their vehicles and the way they practiced safety in their work areas.
Don Bosco, meantime, received Special Recognition for demonstrating safety compliance during the three-day competition. Malaysia’s Team Piston 1 of University of Malaya also received the same special citation.
The Off Track Awards were given in addition to the On Track Awards during the competition that looked for the most fuel-efficient vehicles designed, built and driven by Asian students.
Instead of the usual car race, the SEM aimed to look for the vehicle that travels the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.
“The Off Track Awards complement the Shell Eco-marathon Track Awards because the competition is a total perspective,” Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd Managing Director Azman Ismail said in a statement.
“While the cars are tested for their fuel efficiency, it is also important that the students work in a safe manner, articulate their thoughts well, demonstrate innovation in their design and have teamwork,” added Ismail, Chief Judge of the Off Track Awards.
NUS Urban Concept received the Technical Innovation Award while Autodesk Zeal Eco-Power bagged the Communications and Marketing Award.
Thailand, Singapore rule
The SEM On Track Awards were given to the Prototype and Urban Concept Vehicles.
Mapua, Don Bosco and UST were entered in the Prototype category, which featured futuristic prototypes or streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements like drag reduction.
Mapua had a best track run of 241 km/L, Don Bosco had 141 km/L and UST had 198 km/L.
It was Thailand’s Army Transportation Engineering School (ATE-1) that ruled the Prototype category with 1,521.9 kilometers on 1 liter of fuel. Shell said such amount of fuel was enough to cover the distance from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.
The Thai team even broke the 1,057.5 km/L record set by the winning team at a similar competition held in Houston, Texas in March.
A team from the National University of Singapore using hydrogen fuel ruled the Urban Concept category with a distance of 612.4 km/L.
Teams in the Urban Concept category entered more “roadworthy” fuel-efficient vehicles which are closer in appearance to the cars seen on roads today.
Both the Prototype and Urban Concept categories allowed the student teams to use any conventionally available energy source such as fuels (diesel, gasoline and liquid petroleum gas) and alternative fuels (hydrogen, biomass and solar).
“We have really seen some cutting edge ideas in action - clever vehicle designs, innovative use of energy types, good fuels, lubricants and smart driving habits. Some of the vehicles look like capsules or pencils, with sleek lines for minimal resistance and drag,” said Shell Executive Vice President for Global Business to Business and Lubricants Tan Chong Meng.
A total of 81 teams from 10 countries across Asia took part in the inaugural SEM which has been running in Europe since 1985 and the Americas since 2007.
Norman Koch, Engine and Vehicle Technology Manager for Shell Global Solutions, noted: “What was most striking was the level of enthusiasm and commitment of the participating schools which I believe is as high, if not even higher, than the other regions that held the Shell Eco-marathon.”