Undergraduates from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) won six awards at this year's Shell Eco-marathon Asia, an annual international race where teams from academic institutions compete on fuel efficiency and in innovation.
Held at Luneta Park in Manila, Philippines, two teams from NTU bagged four out of five off-track awards in this eco-car competition. They also won bronze awards in two electric vehicle categories where 117 teams from 17 countries competed.
With its six awards, team NTU emerged as the best performing university this year, turning in Singapore's best performance.
The two NTU teams, comprising 16 engineering students, took a year to build the cars at the Innovation Lab at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. NTU Venture 8, Singapore's first 3D printed urban solar electric car, won three off-track awards -- in Vehicle Design, Communications, and Safety.
The car also raced against eight other teams in the Urban Concept (Battery Electric) category to finish in the third position. It has also been selected to be among the five teams to compete in the coveted Shell Drivers' World Championship in London come July.
Team manager Ilmi Bin Abdul Wahab, 26, a final-year computer engineering student, said that the use of carbon reinforced 3D-printed parts and a unique torque vectoring system made the vehicle lighter and stronger, and more efficient at cutting corners.
He said, "With 3D printing technology, we are not only able to improve the car with customisable reinforced parts, but also ensure that there is minimal waste. The carbon reinforced plastic ensures that the car is as safe and strong as conventional ones on the road."
NTU Venture 9, a three-wheel racer weighing 44 kg, finished a respectable third place against 14 other cars in the Prototype (Battery Electric) category.
The racer, with hand-made contoured silicon solar cells to maximise the harvesting of solar energy, also clinched NTU's third Technical Innovation award, impressing the judges with its elegant and custom-made improvements which enhanced the safety of the vehicle and driver.
Team manager of the three-wheeler team Foo Shi Wei, a final-year mechanical engineering student, said, "We have improved the overall efficiency of the car by reducing its weight by about 25 per cent through the removal of carbon fibre sheets in the wheels, as well as replacing certain parts with aluminium."
Associate Professor Ng Heong Wah, who mentored the two NTU teams, said the students went the extra mile and used innovative ideas to significantly improve the cars.
"Not only did the students use their engineering knowledge, they also went beyond what they learnt in their curriculum to find new ways to improve fuel efficiency and performance while ensuring the safety standards. With new teams joining the race every year, the competition gets tougher, and our win was so close that it was down to mere decimals. These awards are proof of the students' relentless perseverance, determination, and drive to want to do NTU proud."
To view the NTU 3D printed car in action and the making of this car, click here.
Please see Annex A for the list of awards at this year's Shell Eco-Marathon Asia.
Nur Amin Shah
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790-4714; Mobile: 8189-1029
About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (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 joint medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up 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).
Ranked 13th in the world, NTU Singapore has also been ranked the world's top young university for the last two years running. The University's main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.
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NTU's six Awards at the 2016 Shell Eco-Marathon Asia
NTU Venture 8 (Singapore's first 3D printed eco-car)
Vehicle Design Award
Bronze: Urban Concept (Battery Electric) category
NTU Venture 9 (NTU's three-wheel racer)
Technical Innovation Award
Bronze: Prototype (Battery Electric) category