Shell backs UAE colleges for eco contest
Dubai, March 26, 2012
Shell has entered into an agreement with top UAE colleges towards backing Mechatronics Engineering students to join other universities from the region to compete in a major energy challenge.
Started in 1939 as a wager to see who can travel furthest on a single litre of fuel, the Shell Eco-Marathon has grown into a global competition to develop solutions to society’s most pressing dilemma – the energy challenge.
The competition is an educational platform that encourages students around the world to design, build and test fuel-efficient vehicles.
In a record feat, a Shell Eco-marathon student team achieved 4,896.1 kilometers on a single litre of fuel – a distance which is equivalent of driving from the UAE to Germany.
The competition is especially relevant in today’s day and age, where according to the International Energy Agency, road transport alone accounts for approximately 17 per cent of global energy use.
“For Shell the Eco-Marathon is a visible demonstration of its commitment to help meet the energy needs of society in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible,” said Richard Jory, general manager Shell Markets Middle East.
“This MOU also represents a unique milestone for universities in the UAE to develop the first ultra fuel-efficient vehicles ever built in the country while proudly representing their nation in this high-profile global event,” he added.
Both the American University in Dubai and the Dubai Men’s College, with who Shell has signed agreements, are extremely keen to participate in this initiative, a statement said.
“We would like to thank Shell for its efforts in bringing this challenge to the region and we are looking forward to our participation,” said Mark Hale, chair of the Mechatronics Department at Dubai Men’s College.
Dr Alaa Ashmawy, dean of the School of Engineering of the American University in Dubai, reaffirmed this excitement by saying that beyond the prestige of winning the title of the most fuel-efficient vehicle, these teams have the unique opportunity of representing their country on a global forum and to stand as the pioneers in fuel conservation from the UAE.
Participants in the Eco-marathon can use any conventionally available energy source including fuels such as diesel, gasoline and Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, solar and battery electric.
There are two broad categories of vehicles in the competition, the prototype category which is a futuristic design or similitude of what is yet to come in the field of automobile engineering, and the urban category which is quite open for mass-production and more road-legal.
Shell recently launched the Shell Eco-marathon challenge in the Middle East and Africa to develop new technologies toward smarter mobility. AUD and the Dubai Men’s College are now set to join other teams from the region, such as Qatar and Lebanon to compete in this global challenge. – TradeArabia News Service
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