Young, bright and aspiring engineers to participate in the 2018 South Africa Shell Eco Marathon Challenge
The Faculty of Engineering and the Innovation Design Lab at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) have selected young, bright and aspiring engineers to participate in the 2018 South Africa Shell Eco Marathon Challenge.
The NUST team consisting of nine students, is mentored by a Mechanical Engineering lecturer, an Electronics lecturer from the Faculty of Engineering and the Director of the Innovation Design Lab.
The Shell Eco Marathon, one of the world’s leading energy efficiency competition programme, challenges student teams around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. Students take their designs to the track to see which vehicle can compete to go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.
The competition, that will take place at the Zwartkops Raceway, is split into two categories. The Prototype class focuses on maximum efficiency, while the Urban class encourages more practical designs.
Cars are also divided by energy type: Internal combustion engine fuels include petrol, diesel, liquid fuel made from natural gas and ethanol; in the electric mobility category, vehicles are powered by hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-based batteries. Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organisers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source. Off-track awards recognise other achievements including safety, teamwork and design.
The competition inspires the engineers of the future to turn their vision of sustainable mobility into reality, if only for a few days. It also sparks passionate debate about what could one day be possible for cars on the road.
Meanwhile, the Drivers’ World Championship challenges students to combine speed with energy-efficiency in a race to cross the finish line first, without depleting their car of energy.
Three regional competitions are held including South Africa, followed by the Grand Final in Europe. The 3 top teams from each region qualify for the Grand Final, with 9 teams in total vying for the title of the world’s most efficient driver.
This year the stakes are high as the winners get to experience exclusive, behind-the-scenes access at Scuderia Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy.