Publication on The Star - "Engineering students to pit their skills"

Top Malaysian universities have unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia.

A symbolic send-off for student teams representing the country was held at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Officiating at the event was Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) oil, gas and energy, financial services associate director Kelvin Tan.

Also present were Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd downstream retail sales general manager Leslie Ng and the university’s deputy vice-chancellor (development) Prof Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan.

The Shell Eco-marathon competition invites students to design, build and test the most fuel-efficient and environment-friendly vehicles.

Nineteen teams will be flying the Malaysian flag at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 from Feb 6 to 9.

“In Malaysia and globally, energy demand is rising. Everyone will need to play their part in helping meet that in a sustainable way.

“At Shell, we spend an average of USD$1 billion annually on research and development globally, looking for ways to deliver more, cleaner energy and helping find ways to use it more efficiently.

“Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the solution to the world’s energy challenges.

“In short, the competition encourages students to challenge the status quo and take unconventional measures to problem solving. This is the innovative mindset that will be essential in helping Malaysia transform into a developed, high-income economy,” Ng said.

The Shell Eco-marathon began its Asian leg in 2010 at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur. Since then is has become an opportunity for young and aspiring Malaysians to showcase their ingenuity in the field of car engineering.

The event will move to the streets of Manila, in the Philippines, from 2014 to 2016.

The next generation technology cars designed and fabricated by student teams from participating Asian countries will be road-tested around the famous Luneta Park and judged by a panel of technical experts.

Some 1,500 students from 16 Asian countries are expected to participate in the 2014 event.

Prof Dr Faisal said, “I applaud the students participating in Shell Eco-marathon, as this competition is a valuable platform to develop practical hands-on engineering skills through a real-life mobility challenge by designing and building fuel-efficient vehicles for the future,” he added.

The Malaysian team will also stand a chance of winning an additional award — the Best Malaysia Team Award — comprising a challenge trophy and RM10,000. The award is determined by the team’s overall achievement in safety and technical performance, as well as marketing and communication competence.

The Malaysian contingent is made up of teams from Selangor, the Federal Territory, Penang, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Kedah and Sarawak.

They are from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Multimedia University Melaka Campus, Curtin University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, German-Malaysian Institute, Monash University Malaysia, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Politeknik Seberang Perai.

The entire article and photo above was published on The Star on Monday, 9 December 2013.