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Curtin Sarawak one of 25 teams to fly Malaysian flag at Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2013

July 1, 2013 | Campus News

Miri – 19 June 2013 – A team from Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) will be one of 25 teams made up of varsity students that will fly the Malaysian flag at the Shell Eco-Marathon® Asia 2013, a unique competition that challenges students to build a vehicle that can travel the furthest using the least amount of energy. Malaysia will send the largest number of teams in the competition at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur from 4 to 7 July with 25, out of the 150 teams from 18 Asian countries.

As Curtin Sarawak is fully committed to environmental innovation and energy sustainability and has continued to participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia for the last three years, its Curtin Eco Racing Team (CERT) will be competing in the ‘Urban Concept’ category for the second year. The team comprises mechanical engineering students Chong Hien Yung (team leader), Liew Kwang Nam, Kong Yip Lan, Fong Ai Ling, Liew Ee Ling, Sim Sheng Jie and Yeong Siew Ping.

Last year, the CERT comprising a different group of students came in fourteenth out of forty teams under the ‘Urban Concept’ category and it is hoped that with the latest modifications to the car, this new team will improve on last year’s achievement. Previously, it entered in the ‘Prototype’ category.

The team has named its vehicle ‘Green Leaf v2’, which is a modified and improved version of the car that took part in last year’s event. The team aims to push the boundaries of fuel efficiency by reducing the car’s weight through the utilisation of lighter materials and removing unnecessary components, in addition to improving its tribology. 

The team says it has been a good learning experience that has encouraged a high degree of innovation and teamwork amongst its members. Supervising the team are Dr. Sharul Sham bin Dol, who is head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science, with the assistance of senior lecturers Dr. Ulugbek Azimov and Dr. Rajamohan Ganesan, a veteran of three Shell Eco-marathon events.

The Malaysian contingent is made up of teams from Sarawak, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Johor and Malacca. They include Curtin Sarawak, University of Malaya, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Multimedia University Melaka Campus, Asia Pacific University, German-Malaysian Institute, Monash University Malaysia, Politeknik Seberang Perai and University College of Technology and Innovation.

This year’s line-up boasts of a range of new and improvised vehicles running on a variety of energy sources such as diesel, hydrogen, batteries, plug-in electricity, and solar.

Consisting of three events around the world involving hundreds of teams, the Shell Eco-marathon is designed specifically to inspire the participants to develop new approaches to sustainable mobility. It also encourages innovation and reinforces conservation amongst the teams as they strive to come up with the most energy efficient vehicle. In 2013, two events will take place on urban streets: in Houston, Texas, USA, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, while the third will be at the Sepang International Circuit.

Congratulating Shell Malaysia for bringing the international event to Malaysia, Professor Ian Kerr, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Sarawak, said participating in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia has been a good learning experience for Curtin Sarawak’s students over the last three years as it encourages them to think innovatively and apply the concepts they learn in the classroom.

He said Curtin is fully committed to innovation, as evidenced in its R&D activities both at its main campus in Perth and in Miri, and the concepts of efficiency and sustainability promoted by the Shell Eco-marathon is very much in line with the university’s environmental sustainability initiatives.

“It is not a matter of winning, but rather our being able to contribute new ideas and concepts that can help sustain the world’s resources. Our students have done an excellent job and come up with an impressive car which I hope will perform to their expectations,” he added.

Besides the on track award, the CERT is also vying for off track awards. The winning team will be selected by an independent panel of judges based on overall achievement in safety and technical performance, as well as marketing and communication competence demonstrated during the event.

Malaysia is hosting the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia from 2010 till 2013. Thereafter, it will be brought to the Philippines for the subsequent three years.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.

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