Malaysian student engineers strive for smarter mobility
Malaysia’s 19 teams’ entries to 2014 Shell Eco-marathon® (SEM) Asia unveiled
KUALA LUMPUR: Top universities from Malaysia unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon® Asia. A symbolic send off for student teams representing the nation was held Dec 4 at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Officiating the event was Kelvin Tan, Associate Director for Oil, Gas & Energy, Financial Services and Government, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU). Also in attendance were Leslie Ng; General Manager Downstream Retail Sales of Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd, Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), University of Malaya, participating teams and other guests.
The Shell Eco-marathon® competition invites students to design, build and test the most fuel-efficient and environment-friendly. Nineteen (19) teams made up of varsity students will be flying the Malaysian flag at the Shell Eco-marathon® Asia 2014 from Feb 6-9.
The Malaysian contingent is made up of teams from Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Penang, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Kedah and Sarawak.
They include University of Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Multimedia University Melaka Campus, Curtin University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, German-Malaysian Institute, Monash University Malaysia, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Politeknik Seberang Perai.
“In Malaysia and globally, energy demand is rising. Everyone will need to play their part in helping meet it in a sustainable way. At Shell we spend an average of USD$1 billion annually on research and development globally, looking for ways to deliver more, cleaner energy and helping find ways to use it more efficiently. Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon® are opportunities for students to be a part of the solution to the world’s energy challenges.”
Ng added, “In short, the competition encourages students to challenge the status quo and take unconventional measures to problem-solving. This is the innovative mindset that will be essential in helping Malaysia transforms into a developed, high-income economy.”
Congratulating Shell for organising the competition, Tan said: “The Shell Eco-marathon® is an excellent opportunity for young and energetic Malaysians to get hands-on experience in innovating. This is great, since innovation is a key driver for any successful free market economy. Today’s participants in the Shell Eco-marathon® will be tomorrow’s highly productive workforce and highly innovative entrepreneurs.”
The Shell Eco-marathon® began its Asian leg in 2010 at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. Since then it has become an opportunity for young and aspiring Malaysians to showcase their ingenuity in the field of car engineering. The event will now move to the streets of Manila from 2014 to 2016.
Students have been rising to the challenge of designing and building cars that fit the concept of smarter mobility, or what Shell describes as “innovative ways to move more people and goods, safely, cost-effectively and with reduced impact on the environment.”
The next generation technology cars designed and fabricated by student teams from participating Asian countries will be road-tested around the famous Luneta Park and judged by a panel of technical experts. Some 1,500 students from 16 Asian countries are expected to participate in the 2014 event.
Meanwhile Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq said: “The Shell Eco-marathon® event provides an avenue for our students to practice what they learn in the classroom in a practical, challenging and competitive way.”
“I applaud the students participating in Shell Eco-marathon®, as this competition is a valuable platform to develop practical hands-on engineering skills through a real-life mobility challenge by designing and building fuel efficient vehicles for the future,” he added.
The Malaysian team will also stand a chance of winning an additional award – the Best Malaysia Team Award comprising a challenge trophy and RM10, 000. The award is determined by the team’s overall achievement in safety and technical performance, and marketing and communication competence.
In previous years the Malaysian teams have won several outstanding awards, namely champion in the prototype hydrogen category in 2010 and champion in prototype plug-in battery category in 2011.
In 2012, the Malaysian teams were champions in the UrbanConcept Diesel and UrbanConcept Solar categories, and runners-up in the UrbanConcept Hydrogen and Prototype Hydrogen categories. As for off-track, one of our teams was named the winner of the Eco-Design Award. In 2013, the Malaysian Team took the Eco-friendly Design prize.