Muscat: Shell Development Oman signed an agreement with Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) that will help the university in its efforts to compete in Shell's upcoming Eco-marathon challenge, scheduled to take place in Manila, the Philippines, in early 2015.
Dr Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, vice-chancellor of SQU, signed the agreement with Chris Breeze, Shell's Country Chairman in Oman, during a ceremony held at SQU. Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles.
With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the winners are those teams whose cars travel the furthest using the least amount of energy.
Students from the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the College of Engineering at SQU, who have been selected to participate in the competition, have begun designing their prototype fuel efficient vehicle at the college lab, under the supervision of Dr Nabeel Al Rawahi, Head of the Department.
After the signing of the agreement, Breeze visited the workshop where SQU's fuel-efficient car is being built. He said Oman is participating in the Shell Eco-marathon for the first time, as SQU competes with 500 universities and schools from around the world.
"Shell Eco-marathon is one of the most innovative and competitive student competitions in the world, which started in 1939 in Illinois, USA. Students can either design a prototype vehicle, which focuses on maximum efficiency, or an urban concept vehicle, which encourages more practical designs.
"Currently, the world's leading prototype teams complete the 15km race on a teaspoon full of fuel. The current record was set by an auto travelling 3,771 km per litre of petrol. This record is difficult to beat – but is by no means impossible if students have innovative spirits and design capabilities," Breeze said.
He further said that Shell was pleased with the agreement signed with SQU, which will provide seed funding for the student team.
"I am impressed with what the students have achieved, so far, in terms of designing the prototype. They have progressed well with the design and plan to make a number of modifications to streamline the car's performance. I wish them the very best of luck," he added. Shell Eco-marathon is both a competition and an educational platform that encourages innovation and fosters the development of leading technology for greater energy efficiency.
Shell's Eco-marathon programme offers young people who are interested in technology and energy a unique and hands-on opportunity to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency in the real world, all in the spirit of teamwork, competition and innovation. For young people interested in innovation, energy, and transportation, Shell Eco-marathon offers a rare, hands-on opportunity to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency, using real-life experience and technology.