Curtin Sarawak’s ‘Enggang Emas’ all set for a good showing at Shell Eco-Marathon® Asia 2015

Professor Mienczakowski (left) posing with team members and academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Professor Mienczakowski (left) posing with team members and academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Miri – 12 February 2015 – Drawing on its successes in the last four editions of the Shell Eco-Marathon® Asia, Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) will be competing in this year’s event in a new category and with a brand new car and racing team.

The new ‘Enggang Emas’ Racing Team comprises electronic and communication engineering student Mohammad Naqiuddin Ammar bin Othman and mechanical engineering students Muhammad Yusof bin Azhar, Muhammad Redzuan bin Jailani, Mohammad Mahadhir bin Jailani, Yeong Siew Ping, Simon Luthsamy and Muhamad Hazrin bin Abdul Nasir.

The team is eager to put up a really good showing at the annual race which will be held at Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines from 26 February to 1 March with its prototype battery electric vehicle named ‘Catching Fire’.

It will be the first time that Curtin Sarawak will be participating in the ‘Prototype Battery Electric’ category, having competed in the ‘Prototype Petrol Gasoline’ and ‘Urban Concept Petrol Gasoline’ categories previously. In 2012, Curtin Sarawak’s team came in fourteenth out of forty teams in the ‘Urban Concept’ category.

According to team supervisor and head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Curtin Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor Sharul Sham bin Dol, the ‘Prototype Battery Electric’ category has been dominated by teams from Rattanakosin Technological College (Thailand), Guangzhou College of South China University of Technology (China), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and Qatar University (Qatar) in the past.

“Nevertheless, the team is confident it will be able to put up a strong showing with the new car,” he said.

The design and development of the car started in March last year when Muhammad Yusof commenced his final year project under the supervision of Associate Professor Sharul.

In his project, Muhammad Yusof applied computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study the aerodynamics of the vehicle design and conducted finite element analysis (FEA) of the chassis, as well as designed the power train system. The other team members then worked collectively to construct and test the vehicle.

The car can travel up to approximately 50 kilometres using a single 48V 10Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery with a maximum speed of 35 to 40 km/hr. This high performance can be attributed to the vehicle’s lightweight design, streamlined body and efficient battery management system.

The team members said working on the car and preparing for the competition has been a good learning experience for them and that it has encouraged a high degree of innovative thinking and teamwork among them. They were also able to apply many of the theories and concepts they learned in the classroom in the design and construction of the car.

At a symbolic send-off for the team at the Curtin Sarawak campus recently, Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jim Mienczakowski said, “I’m very happy we’re taking part in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia again, and there is every reason to, seeing as we have a very strong engineering programmes and tremendous talent among the students in our Faculty of Engineering and Science.

The university will continue to support to our Eco-Marathon racing teams and, hopefully soon, they will start winning some of the top prizes. Our students have done a wonderful job and come up with an impressive car which I hope will perform to their expectations.”

To be eligible for participation, all competing teams need to go through two phases of registration process involving submitting technical drawings of their vehicles, which will then be deliberated by the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia® Selection Committee prior to the posting of results.

Only the top teams are selected based on the strength of their applications. Other criteria taken into consideration are diversity in competing countries, the educational institutions, fuel categories and engine types.

The Shell Eco-Marathon®, which began its Asian leg in 2010 at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, is a unique competition that challenges undergraduate students to build the most fuel-efficient and environment-friendly vehicle that can travel the furthest using the least amount of fuel.

This year, the event will return to the Philippines to continue to challenge students from all over Asia, Africa and the Middle East in showcasing their innovation skills and addressing new challenges in developing new approaches to sustainable mobility. It is also held in the

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