Oman’s youth gear up to bring home ‘the region’s most efficient car’

Three student teams from Oman’s prestigious educational institutions: Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE) and German University of Technology (GUtech), are representing the Sultanate in the 4-day Shell Eco-marathon Asia, which is set to commence on 3 March 2016 in Manila, Philippines.

The 2016 edition of the Eco-marathon kicks off with competitions in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The event brings to the forefront the future of mobility and encourages young aspiring engineers to think outside the box for sustainable solutions. The street circuit in Manila tests the boundaries of fuel efficiency and the winners are not measured by speed but on who can design a car that can drive the furthest on one liter of fuel.

“The Eco-Marathon aligns perfectly with the Oman National Vision 2020, touching the Human, Social and Energy pillars through its focus on education, teamwork, energy and scientific innovation. The competition brings together current and future leaders and people who are passionate about energy issues and encourages them to think about sustainable solutions to the world’s energy challenge. We are proud to support the three high-calibre Omani teams who will be racing alongside 118 student teams from universities, colleges and technical institutes from 17 countries from Asia and Australia” said Chris Breeze, Shell Oman’s Country Chairman.  “We are very pleased to see these three teams once again participating in Shell Eco-marathon Asia. It is very impressive to see the high-level of detailed preparations and innovative thinking that the students have demonstrated in the design and assembly of the vehicles. The Shell Eco-marathon competition provides a great opportunity for students to experience what it is like to translate their engineering skills to tangible products, and to work as teams to manage a real business project as young entrepreneurs” he added.

Student teams can participate in either the ‘Prototype’ or ‘UrbanConcept’ vehicle categories of the competition. The Prototype category teams enter cars of the future – streamlined vehicles focused on maximising fuel-efficiency through innovative design elements. The ‘UrbanConcept’ category focuses on more ‘roadworthy’ fuel-efficient vehicles aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers.

Commenting on his participation, Omar Al Jabri, responsible for designing the power train for the CCE team said “Being part of the Shell Eco-marathon for the second consecutive year is a matter of intense pride for us. Our team, made up of 11 CCE students, selected based on aptitude and academic performance, have worked day and night to design the prototype vehicle that meets all technical and safety standards. It has been an exciting learning experience where we have taken on responsibilities ranging from engineering to designing and marketing. We thank Shell for this opportunity and are geared to do our country proud at the global platform.”

Dr. Issam Bait Bahdoor, the professor in-charge of the project from SQU stated, “Our students are being given an invaluable opportunity in the Shell Eco-marathon to build teamwork and business skills while tackling a real-life engineering problem. They are applying the engineering knowledge they have gained in class. We look forward to hearing great news about their performance in the competition.”

Participating teams have the freedom to exercise their creativity in technical and design aspects, with the condition that all vehicles entered meet the safety rules. Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2016 comprises ‘On-Track’ awards with prize money of USD 2,000 and USD 1,000 for Winners and Runners-up in both Prototype and UrbanConcept categories. In addition, teams will also be competing for six off-track awards: communications, vehicle design, technical innovation, safety, perseverance and spirit of the event.

The Shell Eco-marathon promotes learning and showcases the talent of students who take back lessons and ideas to help create a more energy efficient future.

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