KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- Kencana-Gen2, one of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia s (National University, Malaysia) two entries for this year s Shell Eco-Marathon Asia competition, has found the spirit of 1Malaysia useful when preparing for the fuel-efficiency challenge over the last six months, said team manager Marvin Madang Gau.
"The competition has brought us together in understanding each other better, especially when we come from different ethnic backgrounds," he said on a recent "Spotlight" talk show programme on Bernama Radio24 hosted by Gerard Ratnam.
"There s no (room for the) I or me (attitude) but just us or we when we get together to tackle various problems and find solutions to produce a winning vehicle, especially on the aerodynamics and how to make the car lighter, said the second year chemical engineering student from the east Malaysia state of Sarawak.
Bernard Eng, the marketing director of the team, said embodying the 1Malaysia spirit was essential among the team members as they had grown to appreciate different perspectives as each ethnic group had its own strengths, values and qualities.
"We have also learnt to exercise patience, respect each other s views, share ideas and in the end make a good decision on how to achieve our goal of building a competitive car to do well in the competition," said the third year chemical engineering student from Kuala Lumpur.
The team, under the supervision of Dr Edy Herianto from UKM s Fuel Cell Institute, has Ahmad Tajuddin Abdullah and Looi Hui Yi as drivers while other members include Ooi Xu Quan, Mohd Hafis Mazeri, Muhammad Khoiri Abdul Aziz and Muhamad Syazwan Saiatulkhdri.
Team KencanaGen2 (http://www.facebook.com/KencanaGen2) will enter a prototype car shaped like a water droplet, which will be powered by hydrogen fuel to compete against 100 other teams from 13 countries at the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2011 to be held at the Sepang International Circuit near here from July 6 to 9.
Eng said the project had also pushed the students to face real-life challenges like seeking sponsorship from the public, making presentations and getting supporters while working to build a competitive vehicle to compete against the rest of Asia.
"It made us apply what we had learnt in the lecture halls and do our best in the real world, he said, adding that he hoped the competition would inspire more young people to be innovative and take part in next year's competition.
Azman Ismail, Managing Director, Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd and Shell Timur Sdn Bhd, said Shell was pleased that the Shell Eco-Marathon had brought together the students to test themselves and unleash their potential and leadership qualities by working together on the project.
"I would say that Shell Eco-Marathon has brought about the hard objective among the students, which means that they would have to seriously work at producing a winning vehicle, and the soft objective, where they would learn to put aside their differences and cooperate for the better while uncovering their best qualities for different roles in the project, he said.
Azman said although the competition had started some 25 years ago in the United States, the performances of Asian teams had been impressive at the inaugural Asian competition in Sepang last year.
For instance, the record of 1,521.9 kilometres on a litre of fuel set by a Thai team last year even surpassed the record set by the winning team at 1,057.5 km per litre at a similar event held in Houston, Texas in March 2010.
Asked why Shell was promoting energy efficiency through the Shell Eco-Marathon, he said the competition was in line with the company's broader initiative known as "Smarter Mobility", aimed at speeding up the global shift towards cleaner, more energy-efficient road transport.
"It is our way of engaging the youth who can give birth to ideas on fuel efficiency and providing them with a global platform to display technical and innovative solutions in a very practical manner," he said.
The Shell Eco-Marathon is primarily about distance, not speed for it challenges the student teams to design and build energy efficient vehicles that can travel the farthest distance by using the least amount of fuel.
Open to high schools, colleges, universities and technical institutes all over Asia, the competition has two vehicle categories -- Prototype, futuristic, streamlined vehicles focusing on maximising fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, and Urban concept, focusing on more roadworthy fuel-efficient vehicles.
They can choose conventional fuels such as diesel, gasoline and LPG or alternative fuels such as fuel cells/hydrogen, bio-fuel, solar and Gas-to-liquid (GTL).