American University of Sharjah (AUS), ranked one of the top 450 universities worldwide by QS World University Ranking, unveiled its futuristic Eco-Stallion car, which is manufactured chiefly using recycled and reinforced paper. Eco-Stallion will be the maiden AUS entry at Shell Eco-marathon Asia, a prestigious annual event that challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles.
Eco-Stallion will compete in the diesel category at Shell Eco-marathon Asia, to be held at Sepang Ping International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur July 4-7, 2013 along with 150 teams from 16 countries.
The AUS team of senior mechanical engineering students that built Eco-Stallion, one of the most fuel efficient diesel cars ever built, includes Mughees Khan, Badar Ud-Duja, Fouad Khan, Ridwan Murshed, Omar Jadallah and Ahmed Farhat. They were coached and guided by AUS professors Dr. Shivakumar Ranganathan and Dr. Basil Mohammad Darras, both assistant professors of mechanical engineering, with support and ongoing technical assistance from Shell.
The car, which is designed to go the longest distance using the least amount of fuel, is powered by a 243 cc engine that can produce up to 4.8 horsepower using diesel. The team chose the diesel category instead of other categories such as gasoline, solar, electric and hydrogen because they felt they would perform better with a diesel engine. The world record in diesel efficiency was achieved by the Spanish team of the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2010 with 1396.8 kilometers per liter. Last year’s best attempt in the diesel category reached 363.4 kilometers per liter and it was set by Tongji University, China. Eco-Stallion team members hope to surpass last year’s record.
Dr. Hany El-Kadi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean and Director of College of Engineering Graduate Programs, said, “The launch of Eco-Stallion is a true showcase of the excellent facilities available to our mechanical engineering department, the quality of guidance from our professors and the ambition of our talented students. They are bringing to life our promise of achieving excellence in their chosen field at AUS and are utilizing the opportunity to work on practical projects such as these. It is a testament to the technical and human elements and facilities coming together at AUS that has allowed Eco-Stallion to be designed and built wholly at our engineering labs, which are equipped with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and the required technology to build a complete car. We would also like to thank Shell for their ongoing support and guidance to the students.”
Dr. Shivakumar Ranganathan, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, said, “There are a lot of talented students at American University of Sharjah and a project such as the Eco-Stallion brings the best out of the students. The factory production of a highly efficient vehicle such as ours on a large scale will not only help reduce the carbon footprint on the environment but also provide a cheaper option for transportation in the developing world. Besides designing a vehicle that utilizes the least amount of fuel, we also ensured that the vehicle is environmentally friendly by coming up with the idea of designing the body of the car using recycled paper in a way that it has a high level of structural integrity. The benefits of using recycled paper are that it saves energy by reducing the need to extract and refine paper, conserves natural resources by reducing deforestation and decreases greenhouse gas emissions. We have been successful in designing a car that is fuel efficient and eco-friendly and now look forward to our participation in the Shell Eco-marathon.”
“We are very pleased to see AUS’s engineering students’ first fuel-efficient ‘Made in the UAE’ car come to life and look forward to seeing the car on the tracks at the Shell Eco-marathon race in Kuala Lumpur in July. The Shell and AUS teams have worked closely together to realize this milestone. Providing university students in the UAE with an opportunity to apply their engineering skills to conceptualize and produce energy efficient cars encourages understanding about the future of innovation and smarter mobility. This unique experience empowers them to become active contributors in creating a sustainable platform for growth for future generations. We wish the students the best of luck in Malaysia and we will be with them every step of the way,” said Xavier Hery, General Manager Aviation - Middle East and South Africa , Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited.
“We are very excited to have reached this far and now our dream is becoming a reality,” said Mughees Khan, the Team Manager. “At the beginning it looked like a long shot but now that we are unveiling the car, we are proud that we made it this far and we are encouraged that we will do well in Malaysia.”
Videos and pictures of Eco-Stallion can be seen at http://blog.aus.edu/bid/275894/AUS-to-participate-in-2013-Shell-Eco-Marathon-Project  and http://blog.aus.edu/bid/287666/Fuel-efficient-vehicle-manufactured-at-AUS-unveiled .
AUS, recently named one of the top 450 universities worldwide by QS World University Ranking, is accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates and by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States.