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AUS mechanical engineering team wins first place in Global Hybrid Competition
An American University of Sharjah (AUS) mechanical engineering team won first place in the Global Hybrid Competition 2016, held recently, at Al Forsan International Resort racetrack in Abu Dhabi. Fifteen teams from the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Kuwait raced their hybrid vehicles 300 kilometers for a total time of four hours to test the vehicles' energy efficiency. Team Torpedo, the AUS team, secured the First Place Overall title in the competition with 157 laps, the second team with 154 laps and the third with 150 laps. The AUS team also won First Place in the All-Electric Race and the Best Presentation Award.
The AUS team members were engineering senior students Faisal Al Marzouqi (team leader), Rashed Al Shaibani, Hani Sarris, Alia Alemadi, Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Mahmoud Saadyeh, Ali Lootah and Ahmed AlQasim.
Each team built a three-wheeled electric-motor-driven vehicle, powered by advanced AGM Pb-xx batteries and a gasoline generator used to provide additional range. The vehicles cost around US $13,000 to build, including shipping and the generator, and had to be tested for efficiency rather than speed. The two-day challenge included two parts. On the first day, the cars raced for an hour purely on electrical energy, trying to complete as many laps as they could with minimum energy consumption. On the second day, teams used the power in their batteries plus additional electrical power produced by a gasoline generator and 3.8 liters of fuel and competed for the most laps completed in three hours.
Organized by Global Education Energy Environment (Global EEE), Khalifa University and Launchpad, this event allowed engineering students to get hands-on experience in building and driving a hybrid-electric car. The student teams were provided with a basic car kit that they could assemble and modify beforehand. A significant portion of design was left up to their engineering ability.
"Going into the competition, we had no expectations of winning any prizes, we only hoped to do our best," said team leader Al Marzouqi. "When we first started to build the vehicle, a simple procedure, such as drilling, was a challenge to us. However, we ended up winning the competition. Hard work pays off, and I am very grateful to have been part of such an amazing team," he added.
The students built their vehicle with help from Dr. Thomas Gally, Senior Lecturer in the AUS Department of Mechanical Engineering. "I am very impressed with our team. They worked very hard in the short time they had to complete the car and it all came together wonderfully," said Dr. Gally.
The AUS team was sponsored by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which funded the team to purchase the components of the vehicle, and Lootah Technical Center, which provide technical assistance and support.