Last year, team UiTM Eco-Sprint from UiTM Shah Alam emerged as champions for the fourth year in a row. This year, the team is passing the torch to Team UiTM Eco – Planet who will be competing in the Hydrogen category.
Make the Future Festivals is Shell’s global platform for conversation, collaboration and innovation around the world’s energy challenges. With events hosted in countries around the globe, they aim to provide an opportunity for multiple stakeholders: including students, entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and the public, to experience, test and contribute bright energy ideas.
To be held this month, the main feature at the festival is Shell Eco-marathon Asia, where over 120 student teams from 18 countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East will put their self-built energy-efficient cars to the test. One of the world’s longest-running student competitions, the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) is a global programme that challenges bright student minds to design and build ultra-energy-efficient cars, and then put them to the test in competition.
The teams from Malaysia are from Monash University Malaysia (two teams), Multimedia University Melaka Campus, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and University Malaysia Pahang.
This year, Team Monash UC will be introducing cruise control technology, as well as their own driver-assist system to calculate the ideal steering angle when tuning corners to ensure their urban concept car does not lose momentum at corners thus maintaining an even and efficient burn of hydrogen gas throughout the race.
Team UiTM Eco-Planet is a female-empowered initiative. This year, the team has 13 female engineers to further develop and design their entry. The team manager, also a female, and two other female engineers will make up the team of 8 engineers.
“Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Asia is a key platform for developing and nurturing youths in the areas of science, technology, engineering and energy fields. It also serves as an avenue for our Malaysian bright and future talents to discover ways of bringing their ideas to life by challenging their young minds to innovate and embrace a smart sustainable future. Shell Malaysia is proud to be partnering the students and universities to showcase Malaysian ideas and capabilities at this platform” said Nimmi Kamal, Country Head, External Relations, Shell Malaysia.
SEM plays a major role in developing the students’ ability to integrate knowledge across subjects by incorporating flipped learning and encouraging them to think in a more logical and holistic way. To participate in SEM, each team will design and test their energy efficient vehicles, therefore, exposing them to the investigative skills of science, analytical skills of mathematics and inventive skills of engineering.
This is very much taking the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which is designed to provide students with the opportunity to investigate information provided to them in order to understand it based on their own experiences, also known as contextual learning.
“Thus, SEM designed to push the boundaries makes learning more relevant as students learn based on current and real-world situations,” explained Ms Nimmi.