American University of Sharjah (AUS) and Shell have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support Engineering Technology students in joining other regional universities in building ultra fuel-efficient vehicles and compete in the 2013 global Shell Eco-marathon challenge. The innovation driven challenge will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next July.
The MOU was signed by Dr. Thomas Hostettler, Provost of American University of Sharjah, and Xavier Hery, General Manager, Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited.
“The Shell Eco-marathon is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain hands-on engineering and project management experience and apply what they have learned during their studies to an important project that will enable the future of clean and efficient transport. We would like to thank Shell for its efforts to bring this challenge to the region and we are looking forward to our participation.” said Dr. Thomas Hostettler, AUS Provost.
In its commitment to help meet the energy needs of the society in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible, Shell recently launched the Shell Eco-marathon challenge in the Middle East and Africa as part of its global programs on Smart Mobility and Technology & Innovation.
“This MOU reflects the UAE’s commitment to energy efficiency. We are proud to support AUS to work on developing a high quality “made in the UAE” ultra fuel-efficient vehicle that will carry the country’s flag at this high-profile and prestigious global event,” said Xavier Hery, General Manager, Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited. “We look forward to the participation of the American University of Sharjah and wish the students the best of luck in this exciting journey.”
The Shell Eco-marathon challenge is designed to encourage and foster innovative ideas about fuel-efficiency and the future of transport among high school and university students. By 2050, the number of cars on the road is expected to triple and a variety of fuels and technologies will be needed to meet the growing demand for mobility while limiting CO2 emissions.
The Shell Eco-marathon has been running for the last 28 years and takes place each year in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific and challenges more than 5000 students of top universities to design and build energy efficient vehicles. The most fuel-efficient driving car ever designed by a Shell Eco-marathon student team was capable of driving 4,896.1 kilometers on a single liter of fuel – the equivalent of driving from UAE to Germany. This was achieved by a French university during the 2010 Shell Eco-marathon in Europe.
Vehicles in the Shell 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. Teams can enter vehicles in two categories, the ‘Prototypes’ group where the primary design consideration is reducing drag and maximizing efficiency, and the ‘UrbanConcept’ which focuses on design that is contemporary, but still focusing on fuel efficiency.
American University of Sharjah is now set to join other teams from the UAE and the region, such as Qatar and Lebanon, to compete in this global challenge.
In closing, Dr. Yousef Al Assaf, Dean, College of Engineering at AUS, said that “AUS is delighted to partner with a global brand - Shell on this unique project. Throughout the challenge, we will provide our students with the best learning environment in which to develop their idea and concept. This MOU is both a testament to the quality of teaching and the variety of learning experiences we provide to our students.”