Two teams from Qatar University and one from Texas A&M University at Qatar made history by becoming the first teams from Qatar to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia that was held at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur from July 4 to 7. This year’s competition saw participation from 119 student teams from 18 countries across Asia and the Middle East.
Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s most innovative and challenging student competitions held annually in Europe, America and Asia where university student teams are challenged to design, build and compete with energy efficient vehicles. The winner is the team that goes the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.
Team Gernas 2 from Qatar University came in second in the prototype alternative diesel fuel category running on Shell Gas to Liquids (GTL) and recording a mileage of 118.3 (km/l). This is an outstanding achievement for the team given that this is only the second Shell Eco-marathon that they have participated in. Team Gernas 1 came in tenth in the prototype plug-in electric category, recoding a mileage of 136 (km/kwh). All three Qatari teams passed the rigorous mandatory technical inspection before getting on track and did not record any safety incidents during the competition.
“We are proud of this outstanding achievement. Both teams performed well against their Asian peer universities. This is a great endorsement of the quality of education and the depth of research and hands on experience that our students receive,” said Dr. Mazen Hasna, Dean of Engineering at Qatar University.
“The journey was filled with ups and downs but teamwork really pulled us through in the end,” said Dr. Saud Ghani, Faculty Lead for Qatar University. “It was definitely a challenging experience competing head on with some of the best teams from Asia and we have certainly learned a lot.”
“We’ve managed to pick up many new skills building this vehicle, and it’s been really challenging managing time between the students’ hectic academic schedule and this demanding project, but we are glad we pulled through and made it to the event,” said Dr. Mansour Karkoub, Faculty Lead for Texas A&M at Qatar. “We would like to thank QSTP, Shell and Qatar Airways for their support.”
Team Aggielanders from Texas A&M at Qatar, in spite of experiencing last minute malfunctions, successfully completed run on the track with a time of 32 minutes becoming the first GTL powered urban concept car to complete in the competition with fuel consumption averaging more than 80 (km/l).
On these achievements, Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman and Science & Technology Advisor for QSTP said,”We extend our most sincere congratulations to the Qatar SEM teams. QSTP has been a proud partner of the SEM initiative from its very beginning in Qatar and we are thrilled that the teams are already achieving significant results faced with strong international competition. We are confident that these excellent results will influence younger generations to think about the challenges of a sustainable energy future. Our hope is that we will have even more teams representing Qatar next year and that they will continue achieving remarkable results.”
“Qatar Airways congratulates the Qatari teams. This admirable achievement is testament to the solid team effort invested in this laudable initiative to improve energy efficiency and drive change,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.
“We are very pleased with the performance of our teams this year. They have proven that students from Qatar can compete with the best university teams across Asia. The level of competition was intense and we hope the experience gained from this competition will spur them to greater heights in their future careers,” said Wael Sawan, Qatar Shell’s Executive Vice President.
Students from Thailand emerged with the best run at Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2012 in the Prototype category running on Ethanol E100 with a mileage of 2,903 km/l – the equivalent of driving two trips from Doha to Dubai and back on a single liter of fuel. In the UrbanConcept category, Team Cikal Cakrasvarna from Indonesia achieved the highest mileage of 196.3 km/l, running on gasoline.
In 2010, Shell partnered with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) to enable university students in Qatar to participate in this event. QSTP is committed to provide financial support to the teams from Qatar by matching the amounts they have managed to raise independently. This year Qatar Airways supported the teams by providing air freight for the three ultra energy efficient vehicles from Qatar to Kuala Lumpur and back.
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