Team Singapore swept a total of three on-track and off-track awards at Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia 2015, clinched by Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Participating in SEM Asia for the fifth time running, ITE and NTU contended with 124 other teams from 16 countries across Asia and the Middle East. Teams submitted vehicle entries in either the Urban Concept or Prototype category in any of the seven different energy types. Results are measured on who can drive the furthest on the equivalent of 1 kWh or 1 litre of fuel.
Outstanding finish by Singapore student teams
Clinching third place in the Prototype-Battery Electric category, Team EcoTraveller from ITE achieved an outstanding mileage of 324 kilometres – the equivalent distance of driving up and down the entire length of the Pan Island Expressway nearly eight times – in just one kilowatt of electrical energy. This marks a 49 percent improvement from their previous mileage recorded in 2014 (see Appendix for more details).
“We experienced ups and downs, but overall we had a good run on the track. We didn’t think so much about winning – we just focused on building our car and working to each team member’s strengths,” shared EcoTraveller’s student team lead, Sherwin Beh. “We would like to express our gratitude towards Shell for giving us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and showcase what we can do.”
Meanwhile, NTU bagged the Technical Innovation award, marking its second time in winning this award in the history of their participation in SEM Asia. The team impressed the jury with the NTU Venture 9, a racer that has the application of a novel steering mechanism that allows their vehicle to take sharp corners with little loss in speed.
The same team clinched the Safety award, having displayed a strong awareness of potential hazards, and for putting in control checks and measures to ensure that such incidents are prevented. Each team member had consistently displayed adherence to safety practices—a good sign that safety is truly ingrained and embedded in the hearts and minds of the entire team. This marks the fifth time that NTU has won the Safety award in the history of their participation in SEM Asia (see Appendix for more details).
“It’s my first time participating in SEM Asia and it has been a great learning experience. I’ve learned a lot not just from my own teammates but also from other students from different countries across Asia,” enthused Yang Tao Zheng, team member of Nanyang E Drive for the NTU Venture 9. “Though we faced some difficulties on the track, we now know what to improve on and we’re confident we can be number 1 next year.”
“We are extremely proud of our student teams and their performance at SEM Asia this year,” said Mr Jason Leow, General Manager, Communications, Shell Singapore. “We hope their creativity inspires cutting-edge thinking from up and coming engineers, designers and inventors in Singapore to find game-changing ways to be more fuel-efficient.”
Significant strides in Singapore’s energy talent pool
Growing the pool of talented young engineers and scientists in Singapore will be essential in helping the nation and the rest of the region meet one of its biggest challenges: supplying enough energy to maintain economic prosperity while tackling potentially devastating climate change.
Through the ingenuity of the NTU student teams at SEM Asia this year, alongside the NTU Venture 9 is Singapore’s first urban solar electric car, – the NTU Venture 8 – which comes with an innovative 3D-printed body shell that has 150 parts.
Member of jury, Nicolas Bivero, Chief Representative and Executive Director, Uyeno Transtech Ltd. said, “At SEM Asia, students really need to be very creative with their designs to problem-solve the challenge of fuel efficiency. The level of innovation in the ultra-energy-efficient cars I have seen here is testament to the effort that students have dedicated year on year into their cars - it is quite impressive!"
Several contestants from the previous Singapore student teams at SEM have gone on to work for Shell. In 2011, NTU student, Lim Weison, and his team won in the Prototype (Diesel) category. In 2012, they participated again and achieved first runner-up in the Prototype (Diesel) category. In July 2013, he joined Shell Jurong Island as a mechanical plant engineer. He continues to be involved from the sidelines, helping out as one of the 329 Shell staff volunteers at SEM Asia 2015.