Public Release: 

NTU grabs top spots at Shell Eco-marathon Asia

Nanyang Technological University

Students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have done Singapore proud by coming in first in two categories at this year's Shell Eco-marathon Asia, a competition for fuel efficiency and innovation.

NTU Venture 9, a slick three-wheeled racer with unique contoured solar panels, impressed the judges at the four-day international eco-car competition held at Luneta Park in Manila, Philippines.

The electric solar car beat more than 124 other teams from 16 countries in two categories in its debut at the races - marking NTU Singapore's second Technical Innovation award and more notably, its fifth Safety award.

Inspired by motorcycle racing, the NTU Venture 9 is equipped with a unique tilting ability that allows the vehicle to take-on sharp corners with little loss in speed. It also comes with hand-made contoured silicon solar cells, which allows for maximum harvesting of solar energy at every angle.

Team manager of the three-wheeler team Winston Tan, a final-year electrical and electronic engineering student, said the judges praised the engineering innovation which is at the core of the aerodynamic vehicle.

"The streamlined car's unique tilting mechanism adopted from motorcycle racing where racers would lean left or right during sharp turns to maintain their handling and speed won the judges over," said the 27-year-old.

NTU Venture 9 finished a respectable 4th place for the on-track race in the Prototype (Battery Electric) category, in a field of 12 qualifying cars from 30 entries.

The competition also saw its first ever, 3D-printed eco-car - the NTU Venture 8 - which was developed by students using cutting-edge 3D printing instruments,

It is also Singapore's first urban solar electric car, which has over 150 3D-printed parts mounted on a carbon fibre single shell chassis.

Ilmi Bin Abdul Wahab, 25, a Year 4 computer engineering student who led the development of 3D-printed car, said, "We are delighted to unveil the competition's first 3D printed car, which attracted a lot of attention from the public, the media, fellow competitors and the even the awards jury."

Associate Professor Ng Heong Wah, who mentored the two NTU Singapore teams, said the students had taken a leap of faith and decided to go with disruptive innovations instead of making marginal improvements over the previous versions.

"Using the latest engineering techniques learnt from their studies in NTU Singapore, the students have developed innovations such as leveraging on 3D printing technology to build NTU Venture 8 which is lightweight yet strong," said Prof Ng.

"For NTU Venture 9, the clever innovation is a tilting mechanism in that can 'lean' in the direction of the turn to avoid losing speed."

"The competition is tougher every year, with new teams joining the race. These awards are testament to the many months of hard work and perseverance of our students in preparing for the race, as well as their technological expertise and the advice given by their mentors," he added.

The two NTU Singapore teams consist of 16 students from the various engineering schools. Over a year, they built the cars at the Innovation Lab at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

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Please see Annex A for NTU Singapore's history in the Shell Eco-marathon.

Media contact:

Nur Amin Shah
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University Singapore
Tel: 6790-4714
Email: aminshah@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU Singapore is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU Singapore is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides its main campus, NTU Singapore also has campuses in one-north, Singapore's science and tech hub, in Novena, Singapore's medical district, and at Gillman Barracks, Singapore's contemporary arts cluster.

For more information, visit http://www.ntu.edu.sg

Annex A

NTU Singapore's history in the Shell Eco-marathon

This is the fifth time NTU Singapore has participated in a Shell Eco-marathon event. The first Nanyang Venture solar car debuted in the marathon held in Germany on 7-9 May 2009, coming in fourth out of eight in the prototype solar category and winning the off-track award for safety.

The second time NTU Singapore participated was at the inaugural Shell Eco-marathon Asia in 2010 at Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The NV3 car clinched the top prize in the solar category and was the only one out of five solar cars to qualify.

In 2011, NTU Singapore took home two awards at the second Shell Eco-marathon Asia with its new NV4, dubbed the "Batmobile". It won in the diesel category with 564 km per litre fuel efficiency and also bagged the off-track award for safety.

NTU Singapore continued its winning streak in 2012, when both the NV3 and NV4 won silver in their respective categories of prototype battery electric and diesel. In addition, NV4 also beat 118 other international entries to win the off-track award for safety.

NTU Singapore also participated in the biennial World Solar Challenge in Australia where solar cars raced down a gruelling route of 3,000 kilometres across the Australian outback. NV2 took part in the 2009 race and came in 11th out of 31 participating teams. In the 2011 race, NV5 emerged 12th out of 37 teams beating teams from MIT, UC Berkeley and Cambridge amongst others.

Last year, NTU Singapore emerged the best performing university, clinching four awards. Hand-built by students from wood, the diesel-powered NV6 - the "Wooden Wonder" - won three awards which included the off-track award for safety. This marked NTU Singapore's fourth time winning the award. NV3, 2010's champion in the solar category, now converted to an electric-powered solar assisted car, clinched the Award of Technological Innovation.

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