Shell Eco-Marathon Wrap-up

I had a fun time at Shell’s Eco-marathon Americas event although I forgot how exhausting it is sometimes just to be around teenagers (my age is showing lol!).

Morethan 500 students from different high school and universities acrossthe US as well as from Brazil, Mexico, Canada and even from Indiashowed their creativity, skills, camaraderie and teamwork in developingthe best energy and fuel-efficient vehicle, with some of them even madefrom eco-friendly materials.

Eventhe event itself is greener this year, according to Shell organizers.Shell said they supplied organic shirts and caps made from recycledcotton for all participants; bio-degradable toiletries such as lip balmand sunscreen to the teams; water bottles, tote bags, pens and flashdrives made from recycled material; and minimizing the use of printedmaterials by distributing information electronically.

This year’s event was composed of 44 teams, who are all trying to break the 2008 fuel efficiency record of 2,843 miles per gallon (mpg) bagged by Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Indiana. Last year’s Shell Eco-marathon Europe recorded a 7,957 mpg from Lycee La Joliverie of France.

Shell will launch for the first time the Eco-marathon Asia in Malaysia next year.

One important thing to note is that the high schools teams competing against college teams are definitely impressive. Also took note of the fact that many women are participating in this kind of event. It makes me feel proud to be a chemical engineer.

Here’s a recap of the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas winners. With these types of ingenuity and skills, I don’t think anybody could be losers. Congratulations all!

Prototype (streamlined vehicles that focus on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements)

Combustion Engine

With mileage of 2,757.1 mpg, the Laval University in Quebec, Canada won a US$5,000 grand prize with their vehicle, NTF 3.0.

Fuel Cell/Hydrogen

Penn State University achieved 1,912.9 mpg in its Blood, Sweat & Gears vehicle.

Solar Power

Purdue University took first place with its solar vehicle, Pulsar, which achieved 4,913 mpg.

UrbanConcept (roadworthy fuel efficient vehicles)

Combustion Engine

With mileage of 433.3 mpg, Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. won a US$5,000 grand prize with their vehicle, Street Buggy.

Special Awards for the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas

Eco-Design Award

The UCLA teamfor their Prototype design. Their special design not only contributedto the fuel efficiency of their vehicle, but incorporated recycled andeco-friendly materials into the vehicle and production process.

Safety Award

UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Grand Rapids Technical School and Loyola Marymount University.The “Safety Award” recognized three teams who made the most extensiveefforts to comply with the safety regulations of the Shell Eco-marathonAmericas.

Technical Innovation Award

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (1st prize), Purdue University (2nd) and California Polytechnic State University(3rd). This award demonstrated outstanding initiative and technicalingenuity along with optimal use of new materials in the drive train,chassis, instrumentation and tires.

Design Award

Brazilian team from Minas Gerais State University.This award recognized their innovative design research related toergonomics, aesthetics, choice of materials and technical feasibility.

Communications Award

Dalhousie University team from Canada, who made outstanding communications efforts concerning the Shell Eco-marathon.

Best Team Spirit Award

George M. Schurr High Schoolteam. Not only did they demonstrate initiative to learn more aboutother teams and contribute to the morale at the competition, they lenta tire to another team and helped a team in need whose car wasn’t readyto compete by loaning them one of their vehicles to participate in thechallenge.

Perseverance in the Face of Adversity Award

Chitkara Institute of Engineering & Technology in India and Louisiana State University.Both teams overcame many obstacles in order to make it to the ShellEco-marathon Americas – the team from India not only traveled a veryfar distance to participate in the event, they also battled many issueswith their vehicle, and the team from LSU overcame the loss of a teammember, who passed away last year. The team dedicated their ShellEco-marathon project to this team member, even naming their vehicleafter her, Ellen.

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