“We are very confident that they (Mapua) are going to be very well-prepared for the event,” says Ronald Suarez, Pilipinas Shell’s NGO and Stakeholder Relations Manager. “Their cars have evolved. They’ve gotten even better over the years.”

Suarez is referring to Mapua’s 2013 SEM Asia teams Agila and Haribon, also the names of the cars the university is fielding in the contest’s prototype and urban concept categories, respectively.

Mapua is among the pioneer contestants when Shell opened regional competitions of SEM just three years ago. It was the first to set the record for best mileage among Philippine entries, when its 2010 entry Agimat then registered a fuel efficiency of 241 kilometers per liter, landing it in ninth place in the gasoline-fueled prototype car category.

This year’s entry, Agila, is well-designed and extremely light so a good performance from Mapua is expected, according to Suarez during the official unveiling of the Agila and Haribon at Mapua’s Intramuros campus last month.

Senior mechanical engineering student Gerald Alzaga, team manager of the Agila, says the car can double the record Agimat set in the first SEM Asia. “The Agila is lighter than Agimat,” notes Alzaga, who designed the body of Agila to be made from carbon fiber.

“We’re targeting a fuel consumption of at least 1,000 kilometers per liter,” says Mapua professor Sherwin Magon, the adviser of the Agila and Haribon teams. “We made big improvements in terms of design, concept, material selection, engine selection. This (Agila) is the culmination of everything that we have learned in the past Shell Eco-marathons.”

The SEM has become a showcase of Filipino ingenuity in the field of car engineering since the annual contest was introduced in Asia in 2010. Filipino engineering students have risen to the challenge to come 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.

This year, 15 mechanical engineering students of Mapua will be among 1,500 students from 18 Asian countries participating in the SEM Asia on July 4 to 7 at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Members of Team Agila are: Alzaga, team manager and driver Marc Allan Magbitang, chief mechanic Jim Robert Guibani, safety officers John Nicko Noel Garcia, and Francis Kevin Atienza, reserve driver Allan Kelvin Lado, and assistant mechanic Jonas Buela. Members of the Team Haribon meanwhile are: team leader Jose Diwa II, team manager Mark Anthony Bolo, chief mechanic and reserve driver Bren Seminiano, safety officers Paolo Digo and Elisorio Da Silva, and drivers Ian Carlo Cruz and Eugene Paulo Adriano.

Suarez says that aside from Mapua, two other pioneer Philippine participants to the SEM Asia are back in the contest, namely Don Bosco Technical College and University of Santo Tomas. Also participating this year are engineering students from 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.

Officials and volunteers from Pilipinas Shell will join the student delegation in the contest.

“This is really a good project of Shell,” says Engr. Manuel C. Belino, Dean of Mapua’s School of Mechanical Engineering, underscoring the importance of private sector support in encouraging and developing engineering talent in the country. “Students are able to put into practice and apply what they have learned in class.”

Professor Magon adds that students joining the SEM Asia not only learn the technical and practical applications of the engineering theories they learn in class, they also get to develop valuable entrepreneurial skills. “That’s only one part—the theory materializing into reality. The other part is learning the business side because they have to look for sponsors to get their materials,” says Magon. “So they’re not just becoming engineers; in a sense, they’re becoming businessmen because they learn how to talk with companies in order to help them with their needs.”

Magon says students who have SEM experience have a definite advantage when they graduate. “They are above the others. A lot of companies are willing to take them because they already have the expertise,” he says. “I have seen a lot of my students become successful engineers and businessmen because of SEM.”  

Visit the Shell Eco-marathon site.


About Smarter Mobility

Shell recognizes that the growing global population and rising prosperity are increasing pressures on mobility or the movement of goods and people. It foresees the number of cars to triple worldwide by 2050, with aviation and shipping growing strongly at the same time. Thus, the company is constantly finding innovative ways to move more people and goods safely, cost-effectively and with reduced impact on the environment. Examples of smarter mobility are innovative, efficient and sustainable fuels, an infrastructure network for smarter mobility transport, efficient driving practices and eco-friendly vehicles. Visit the Smarter Mobility site to learn more.

About Shell

Shell is a global leader in power, energy, and gas technology and is working to meet increasing energy demand and supply challenges by delivering smarter products and cleaner energy, smarter infrastructure, smarter use, and by developing new energy sources while addressing the impact on the environment, through cleaner burning natural gas and advanced fuels and lubricants technology.   At our operations, safety is our top priority.  Our goal is to have zero fatalities and no incidents that cause harm to our people and neighbours and put our facilities at risk.  We aim to address social concerns and work to benefit local communities, protecting our reputation as we do business.

In the Philippines, Shell represents various companies operating in oil and gas exploration, extraction, refining and delivery of smarter products for clean and fuel efficient transport in the country. Shell’s energy portfolio in the Philippines include the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project which represents roughly 40-45% of Luzon’s power generation requirements, providing the country a considerably long-term revenue stream to the government, in addition to considerable foreign exchange savings.  Being at the forefront of energy and fuel efficiency, Shell advocates for the use of energy more efficiently as the simplest and most cost-effective way to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change through driver education, fuel efficient driving behaviour, and smarter mobility collaboration and strategic partnerships to fuel the country’s progress.  As Shell aims to meet the world’s future energy needs with a diversified energy mix and cleaner energy, we enjoin consumers and businesses to use energy better, to do more with less, and make energy conservation a way of life.

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Roberto S. Kanapi

Vice-President for Communications & Government Relations

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation 

E-mail: bobby.kanapi@shell.com

Tel: +63.2.816-6087

Fax: +63.2.814-6494

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