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Texas A&M at Qatar students showcase their custom-built, energy-efficient vehicle at Geneva International Motor Show

Published Oct 15, 2023

A student team from Texas A&M at Qatar shared their experiences in designing and building their very own ultra-efficient cars at the Geneva International Motor Show held recently in Doha.

The team — which included mechanical engineering students Mohaned Ahmed, Rackan Mansour, Abdulla Ibrahim, Ahmad Afzal, Bashayer Al-Ammari, and Hemyan Al-Malki and was mentored by Mohammed AlGammal — was joined by a team from Qatar University in showcasing their participation in the Shell Eco-Marathon. The Shell Eco-marathon is a global academic program where student teams design and manufacture energy-efficient vehicles that can travel the farthest with the least amount of fuel. Both the TAMUQ and QU teams competed in the Asia-Pacific & Middle East regional championship in Indonesia this year.

The team from Texas A&M at Qatar built a combustion-engine car running on diesel, and the Qatar university team built an electric car. The vehicles are small — fitting only one passenger — lightweight and have futuristic designs. Each vehicle incorporates innovative concepts, such as aerodynamic bodies and stop-start functionality, to reduce fuel consumption. The world record for the furthest distance on one liter of fuel reached over an impressive 3,500 kilometers.

Talking about his experience in building the car, Abdulla Ibrahim from Texas A&M Qatar said, “The car’s design is based on the timeless beauty of 1920s classic cars. The car’s body is made from fiberglass and the chassis is made of lightweight aluminum. These materials combine structural robustness with lightweight performance. The main idea of the Shell Eco-marathon is to optimize fuel efficiency and these materials support that aim.”

The Shell Eco-marathon focuses on energy optimization and is one of the world’s leading student engineering competitions. It aims to push the boundaries of what is technically possible and inspire young people to become leading scientists and engineers of future energy solutions. The program provides a platform for teams to explore every aspect of design and technology, using their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills to build their own ultra-energy-efficient cars, and then take them out on the track in competition.