NEARLY 100 SCHOOLS RETURN TO DETROIT TO COMPETE IN THE WORLD'S MOST ENERGY-EFFICIENT RACE
DETROIT, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 students from 128 teams are enthusiastically working to finish their custom-built, ultra-energy efficient vehicles in the final days leading up to the 10th Shell Eco-marathon Americas, taking place in Detroit on April 22-24. With a record to beat of 3,587 miles per gallon, set by Quebec's Université Laval in 2013, schools from across the Americas – including Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States – are pulling out all the stops to push the limits of energy-efficiency and innovate solutions to the world's most pressing mobility challenges.
"We had a record number of teams make it to Detroit in 2016," said Pam Rosen, general manager for Shell Eco-marathon Americas. "Each year we have more schools and countries joining this exciting competition. It's inspiring to see how passionate these young people are about innovation, automobiles and energy. Their bright ideas are exactly what are needed to create a cleaner, smarter energy future."
For more than 30 years, the global Shell Eco-marathon competitions have challenged students to build energy-efficient cars that can travel the farthest distance on the least amount of energy. Teams can choose from seven energy classes including, diesel, gasoline, ethanol, gas-to-liquid (GTL), compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen and battery electric technologies and enter into one of two vehicle categories: Prototype, which invites students to enter futuristic, streamlined vehicles, or UrbanConcept, which focuses on "roadworthy" fuel-efficient vehicles aimed at meeting the real-life needs of drivers. On average over the last 10 seasons, 21 percent of teams have competed in the UrbanConcept category verses 79 percent in the Prototype category, indicating a greater interest in designing cars that maximize fuel efficiency, both internally and aesthetically.
This year, three teams will be taking on the challenge of competing in the CNG energy class, which was first introduced to the Americas competition in 2015. Supplying CNG as well as hydrogen to participating fuel cell-powered vehicles, the Linde Group will be onsite to scout new talent and share their insights on how to develop hydrogen technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. The Linde Group has previously tapped talent from Shell Eco-marathon when it recruited Francois Wolmarans, who competed in Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2014 for Florida State University, to be an application sales engineer with Food and Beverages. Today, Francois and many other Shell Eco-marathon Americas alumni are thriving in their professional careers with esteemed companies like the Linde Group as a result of their experience with the competition.
Six Schools Mark Their 10-Year Shell Eco-marathon Americas Anniversary
Six schools have participated in all 10 competitions since Shell Eco-marathon came to the Americas in 2007, including:
- California Polytechnic State University from San Luis Obispo, CA, the first winner of Shell Eco-marathon Americas set the bar at 1,902 mpg;
- Mater Dei High School from Evansville, IN, a nine-time winner known for their team-oriented attitude of helping other competitors;
- Cedarville University from Cedarville, OH, known for having a strong technical team with one of their own members having independently rebuilt 20 different engines;
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from Terra Haute, IN, which will retire their classic clear cover car design this year. Several former team members have gone on to work for major car manufacturers, such as Dodge, Chrysler and Ford;
- Grand Rapids High School from Grand Rapids, MN, a previous winner of the Technical Innovation award and 3rd place winner in the Prototype/battery electric category in 2015;
- The University of California, Los Angeles has won the Eco-Design award for reuse of vehicle parts and seen team members go on to work for Lockheed Martin, NASA and Boeing.
"Shell Eco-marathon has allowed us to apply what we're learning in the classroom and develop the hands-on experience that automotive and engineering companies are looking for," said John Clairmont, co-leader for Cedarville University's Prototype/Gasoline car, 'Sting.' "Being part of and witnessing all the strides in innovation from other schools over the years, and to see them all come together in one place has been extremely rewarding and inspiring."
3D Technology Drives More Innovation
The growing popularity of 3D printing technology will have a bigger presence at this year's competition, with schools such as Duke University, Mater Dei High School and Indiana State University, among many others, each leveraging the technology to develop parts for steering and other components. Helping to better modernize 3D printing, HP Inc. - a global partner at this year's competition – will be onsite to recruit talent and share insights on how 2D/3D blended reality tools, like the company's recently launched Sprout Pro, can make designing 3D automotive parts easier.
Building from Scratch
Other teams, such as James B. Dudley High School and last year's winner, the University of Toronto, have taken a more organic approach to designing the car of the future by building their vehicles entirely from scratch. James B. Dudley High School has historically used recycled parts such as old crutches, bed rails and spare tires to comprise their cars and is one of two teams competing in the gas-to-liquid (GTL) category. Last year's champion, the University of Toronto, achieved 3,421 mpg and was the only team to build their engine from scratch.
"We're excited to have the support of so many new partners as well as the Detroit community, making this competition a truly collaborative event to foster the next generation of automotive scientists and engineers," said Niel Golightly, vice president, external relations for Shell.
Global and Local Partners Help Cultivate Future Talent
A platform for recruitment, Shell Eco-marathon Americas cultivates the sharing of ideas and inspires collaboration among students from different backgrounds, age groups, cultures and career interests, in a city that is home to automotive inspiration and is on a path to reinventing itself. A number of global corporations, academics and government entities will be present at the competition to both learn from and share insights with the participants, investing in the talent and technology that will define mobility for a new era.
For example, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will introduce a program called, "We Run on Brainpower" with the goal to attract young talent to the auto industry. To better accomplish this, the MEDC has partnered with Square One Education Network, an organization with a mission to encourage greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among K-12 students.
Other technical and association partners who are making this year's event even more special for student participants and public visitors include Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Quicken Loans, Opportunity Detroit, Team Penske, Toyota Motor North America, Hitachi, Ford Motor Company, The Henry Ford, Motor Cities Heritage, Michigan Science Center, Southwest Research Institute, Michelin, AutoZone, SAE International, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and the City of Detroit.
The public is invited to attend Shell Eco-marathon Americas at Cobo Center to watch young innovators compete on an outdoor track, and enjoy a festival of innovation, energy and creativity. Admission and parking at Cobo Center are free. Find out more about the Americas event at www.shellecomarathon.us. For more information about all 2016 events across the globe, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at www.shell.com/ecomarathon.
Shell Eco-marathon Americas Partners in Innovation
Global and full event partners:
Our global partners help support the three annual regional events around the world. For 2016, the Asia event took place in Manila, Philippines, the Americas event takes place in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and the Europe event will take place in London, England, UK. These partners, along with our local full event partners, provide benefit-in-kind support throughout the year, technical expertise at the event as well as support to the overall student program and public experience. They include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), HP Inc., the Linde Group, Michelin, Southwest Research Institute and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
Technical and local partners:
Our technical and local partners have provided tremendous support in 2016, ranging from benefit-in-kind, direct underwriting, technical and general volunteers, spokespeople, and logistical support for the student and public experience programs. Their efforts have made this year's event even more memorable for the student participants and public visitors. They include: Opportunity Detroit, Quicken Loans, Team Penske, Toyota Motor North America, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Hitachi, Ford Motor Company, The Henry Ford, Michigan Science Center, AutoZone, SAE International, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and Motor Cities Heritage.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes, generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice.
We also produce and sell petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers globally, and we are investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy sources competitive for large-scale use. In the U.S., we operate in 50 states and employ more than 20,000 people delivering energy in a responsible manner.
About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016 will take place April 22nd - 24th on the streets of Downtown Detroit and is free and open to the public. Visit www.shellecomarathon.us to learn more about this weekend of free programs for all ages.
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