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Filipino student engineers strive for smarter mobility

Philippine entries to 2013 Shell Eco-marathon Asia unveiled
Shell Eco-Marathon Asia Photo

All roads lead to Clark this summer, as the race for the most fuel-efficient and environment-friendly Filipino cars begins, with the formal introduction of the Philippine student teams taking part in the Asian leg of the prestigious Shell Eco-marathon. This year’s race will be held on July 4-7, 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

On May 24 at the Clark Speedway in Pampanga, top officials from Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation will present team members of each participating school to the media. An actual test drive of each school’s respective entries will give them a chance to show the Philippine media a sneak preview of how their entries might fare during the actual competition in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia.

A total of 10 teams from top engineering schools in the Philippines will be revving up for the contest in the Prototype and Urban Concept categories. Pioneering teams from the Mapua Institute of Technology, University of Santo Tomas and Don Bosco Technical College are leading high expectations for turnout. Other schools representing the country in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia are De La Salle University–Manila, Technological Institute of the Philippines–Quezon City and Manila, University of San Carlos, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines–Manila.

Mapua, one of the teams that made a good showing in earlier editions of Shell Eco-marathon Asia, is again expected to lead the chances for the Philippine contingent to achieve record-breaking success this year. The team’s entries for 2013, dubbed “Agila” and “Haribon” in the prototype and urban concept categories respectively, boast of improved design and extremely light materials. The team is also setting a fuel consumption target of at least 1,000 kilometers per liter—a big jump from their past run performances at Shell Eco-marathon Asia.

Not to be outdone this year are teams like De La Salle University, whose 2012 entry called “Proto” won the Technical Innovation Award. The award recognized their advanced telemetry system, innovative battery management system, and smart cruise control function, to which all ensured the best energy efficiency possible.  In the same year, the Technological Institute of the Philippines won the Best in Team Spirit Award for their entry dubbed “Mileage,” as they exhibited collaborative effort, positive team dynamics, and highly enthusiastic attitudes.

The Shell Eco-marathon Asia is one of the regional precursors to the global Eco-marathon event—an annual competition developed by Shell to encourage young student engineers all over the world to design, build and test energy-efficient vehicles. Being a global corporate social responsibility (CSR) program of Shell, it supports youth education, encourages innovation and fosters the development of leading technology for greater energy efficiency.

The Shell Eco-marathon categorizes entries in the prototype and urban concept categories, where a variety of energy sources such as gasoline, diesel, bio-fuels, gas to liquids (GTL), electric battery, and many other innovative methods in smarter mobility can be used. Participants are made to showcase their knowledge and skills in computer-aided vehicle and engine design, electronics, mechanical construction and driving, as they aim to provide positive contributions toward safe and fuel-efficient land transportation.

Since the Shell Eco-marathon began its Asian leg in 2013, it has become an opportunity for Filipinos to showcase their ingenuity in the field of car engineering. Students have been rising to the challenge of coming up with 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.” Some 1,500 students from 18 Asian countries are expected to participate in this year’s event.

To know more about the Shell Eco-marathon and this year’s participating teams, visit www.shell.com.ph/ecomarathon. You can also click “Like” on the event’s official Facebook page. ###

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