Student teams gear for 2011 Shell Eco-marathon Asia


Posted at Aug 05 2010 02:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2010 06:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The first ever Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia just ended last month in Malaysia, yet Philippine student teams are already planning for next year’s competition.

“Our teams are actually starting to recruit next year's Shell Eco Marathon teams! It’s been a great inaugural run for all,” said Suiee Suarez, the Sustainable Development Communications Manager of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC). Suarez said this during the live chat on Wednesday.

Team Atalanta from the Mapua Institute of Technology, which won the 2nd place Safety Award, revealed it will have two entries next year.

“Mapua will join next year. One prototype car and another urban concept car,” team leader Jericho Rivera said. “We’re currently forming the next team for Atalanta. We’ll have 18 new members for next year.”

Meanwhile, Team Grigio from the Don Bosco Technical Institute announced that half of its team will join the 2011 SEM. Team Grigio received the Special Recognition for demonstrating safety compliance during the three-day competition from July 8 to 10.

Don Bosco team leader Edmund Angeles added that their SEM stint at the Sepang International Circuit was “one hell of an experience! Tiring, but very fulfilling naman po.”

The participation of University of Santo Tomas (UST) Engineering Eco-marathon Team, meantime, depends on their administration, according to team leader Tim Orille.

But Orille, together with Angeles and Rivera, already assured that they will assist Team Philippines next year.

Suarez added that aside from UST, Don Bosco and Mapua, PSPC is looking to enlist teams from other schools.

“I heard DLSU [De La Salle University] has shown some intention to join SEM next year. Should be interesting. We are now working on UP [University of the Philippines] to join. Sana VisMin [Visayas and Mindanao] schools can join too,” said Suarez.

A different kind of race

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.

The competition looked for the most fuel-efficient vehicles designed, built and driven by Asian students. (Read: Team Philippines bags special awards in Shell Eco-marathon Asia)

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.

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.

During the live chat on the energy microsite, the student team leaders thanked their respective schools, supporters and sponsors.

They also thanked their godfathers for their guidance and help—former Shell companies in the Philippines Country (SCiP) Chairman Eli Santiago for Mapua; former PSPC Health, Safety Security and Environment Manager Nards Ablaza for Don Bosco; and, former PSPC Vice President for Manufacturing Rico Bersamin for UST. -- Report by Ma. Rosanna Mina,