Students vow comeback at eco-marathon

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


STUDENT teams representing Brunei at Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2016 in Manila, the Philippines are determined to come back stronger after failing to secure any wins at the recent competition.

The One-U team from Universiti Teknologi Brunei managed one attempt on the track in the prototype battery-electric category but suffered a major blow when the motor controller in their Pahlawan II vehicle hit a snag.

Lester Ong Kai Xiang said they were unable to complete 10 laps within 29 minutes as a result.

“The vehicle wasn’t producing enough speed. After a few runs around the track, it seemed that there was a problem with the motor controller, and (we) realised that it had blown,” he said, adding their time and resources were also limited.

With no spare parts available and only a 30-minute window to make their next attempt, resourcing from other countries’ teams wasn’t a viable option for One-U.

Despite the setback, the team was proud to participate in Shell Eco-marathon Asia for the first time.

A press statement issued yesterday said they were “motivated and encouraged to come back stronger next year”.

Meanwhile, Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s GenNext Pejuang team was equally disappointed after falling short of a valid run from their two attempts on the track.

“But (this) will drive the team to become a greater contender in the next (competition). The valuable experience will be remembered in order to improve, be better prepared and not to repeat the mistakes that we’ve encountered this year,” said Mohd Khairul Zhafri Hj Mohd Noor.

Besides the knowledge and experience gained over the year-long preparation ahead of the competition, he said they were able to share ideas and network with other students in the region.

“I’m happy with the team’s spirit as they showed no sign of giving up until the very end, as every problem we encountered (was) sorted out together. I’m also happy that the team was committed and shared the same passion throughout the entire project and this event,” he said.

Over 100 prototype vehicles from across Asia and the Middle East competed in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia.

The competition challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra energy-efficient vehicles. It provides participants a platform to explore and experiment with technology and fuels to develop creative and innovative mobility solutions.

Brunei has been actively sending student teams to the competition since 2011 in line with the nation’s Vision 2035 to produce highly-skilled and educated individuals.The Brunei Times