Eco marathon: Students aim to hit record for miles per gallon

30 March 2012 | In Engineering and science | 436 views | By

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ECO MARATHON AMERICASStudents of the University of Missouri rushing to finish the “TigerGen III”, his hydrogen powered vehicle futuristic. AND, at Stevens Institute of Technology, in New Jersey, five students are readying their veterans engineering plug-in electric car with lightweight carbon-fiber structure. His major concern? Ensure that a motorist can fit.

In California, Monrovia High School students are confident that his three-wheeled vehicle controlled by computer será o vencedor deste ano. AND, at Mater Dei High School in Indiana, students are putting the finishing touches on four vehicles and expect one of them shows to be the most efficient in terms of energy.

More than 1,000 innovative high school and students from universities in the Americas are coming close to the sixth annual edition Shell Eco-Marathon Americas in Houston. The event challenges students to build and design their vehicles with high mileage to participate in competitions held annually in Europe, in the Americas and Asia. The Shell Eco Marathon brings together future leaders in science and engineering, passionate about finding solutions to the global challenges of energy.

Of 29 March to 1 April, students and their efficient fuel usage vehicles will run through the streets of downtown Houston, among its skyscrapers, and will try to hit the impressive record of 2.564,8 miles per gallon (1.090,4 km/l), achieved in 2011 by Université Laval of Quebec team, It will compete again this year.

This surpassed by far the 50 miles per gallon (21 km/l) achieved by a scientist of Shell in 1939 in a challenge that has become in what is today the Shell Eco Marathon. Since then, the event has gathered thousands of students from more than 30 countries to test their futuristic vehicles.

“The Shell Eco Marathon is an important part of the energy challenge that our planet is facing,” says Mark Singer, Global Manager of projects. “The future will require a mosaic of energy solutions and we believe that we are contributing to a smarter energy future, with more responsible options for our customers, In addition to offering trusted reviews to our markets and to those responsible for policy-making. The Shell Eco Marathon is a fantastic experience for students and spectators.”

Really a Fantastic Experience ‘’

The event encourages intense competitions between middle schools and nearby universities, among other rivalries. In particular, universities of Los Angeles area may confer who defeated whom every year, as well as several universities in Texas, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at El Paso and, for the first time, the Rice University. Some high schools of Texas would also claim the rights of State winners this year.

Local rivalries do not matter, says the team from Stevens Institute. Team members have high hopes for its debut in the Shell Eco Marathon, in which will compete in the class of electric prototypes, that includes futuristic vehicles aimed at decreasing the resistance and maximize efficiency. “We hope to get a good performance,” says Steve Rawson, veteran student. “With some initial numbers that we have of our project, We hope to finish with approximately 400 or 500 miles (643,72 ?804.65 km)/kWh and as the first in the class.”

At the University of Houston, the team “Superleggera” expects to reach 1.000 miles (1609,3 km) with only a gas tank. However, missing an important ingredient for engineering students: money. They are actively seeking sponsors.

Help of good Samaritans

Without doubt, your support makes a difference. In 2011, the electric vehicle at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks cost about 5.000 dólares em materiais e other 2.500 dollars in travel, and the team won the unofficial award “Down to the Wire” from the magazine Wired for his last-minute efforts to raise funds. This year, automotive engineering students are busy building more vehicles, what further increases costs.

The teams get help from several good Samaritans. In Granite Falls High School in Washington, the volunteer team Kari Hanson recently received the volunteer of the year award from a local business and donated his paycheck 5.000 dollars to help fund the team's trip to Houston. “The Shell Eco Marathon Americas uses academic learning into something real and tangible, and also teaches life skills and to work which can be used in the real world,” She says.

Several teams have websites to keep their communities informed about its progress in the Shell Eco Marathon Americas and get donations.

Students benefit from their experiences

Shell Eco Marathon participants speak enthusiastically about the competition helped students to follow careers in energy and technology. Allen White, Associate consultant team Rose-Hulman Institute of technology, says that the recent college graduates have received job offers from Chrysler, Cummins Engine, Caterpillar and Rolls-Royce, among other.

MacKenzie Sellers, former President of the racing team of solar-powered cars from Purdue University in 2007 and 2008, also works in Rolls-Royce, especially with gas turbine engines for the aerospace sector. “My experience in solar-powered cars prepared me for my career,” She said.

In addition to the competition among students, the Shell, along with the media sponsor The New York Times organize the Energy Summit 2012: Earth 2050: The connection between Food, Energy and Water. Several leaders of representatives of political sectors, environmental, academic and business attending the two-day symposium.

For more information on all events for 2012 Around the world, including instructions for registration, official rules of programming and Shell Eco Marathon Americas 2012, visit the Shell Eco Marathon:

About Shell Oil Company

The Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies employing 93 thousand people in more than 90 countries. We offer a wide range of petrochemical and power solutions for customers around the world. These include transportation and marketing of oil and gas, natural gas marketing, production and sale of fuel for ships and aircraft, electricity generation and supply of energy efficiency consulting.

In addition, We produce and sell petrochemical building blocks for industrial customers around the world and we are investing to make competitive low-carbon energy sources and renewable for large-scale use. In The United States, We operate in 50 States and more than 20 thousand employees work producing energy responsibly.

About Shell Eco Marathon

The Shell Eco Marathon is a global program that challenges students of enBell medium and universities to design, build and test vehicles more energy-efficient. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, This innovative competition challenges future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. The Shell Eco Marathon Americas 2012 happens between 29 March and 1 April 2012 on the streets of downtown Houston, the energy capital of the world. Visit for more information about this program.


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