Eco-car team wins big in Shell competition

March 31, 2010

by Jessica Cassels

Tech engineering students were named as the second place Urban Concept award winner of $2,500 in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas annual competition in Houston Friday through Sunday.

The team also won Best Team Spirit Award receiving $500 and Design Award receiving $500 .
Allie De Leo, a junior mechanical engineering major, said being a driver for this competition is amazing.

“After all of the hard work that the team has put into the cars, it is up to the driver to bring the best out of the work the entire team has done which can sometimes be stressful,” she said.

De Leo said this competition has not only given her the chance to get hands-on experience but also to further her problem solving skills.

“When an issue arises with the cars, the team gets together and comes up with a solution to the issue,” De Leo said. “My most memorable part of the competition this weekend was completing the run that accomplished our goal of achieving more miles to the gallon than last year. It was a great feeling to achieve what we had set out to accomplish.”

Paul LeMaire, a senior construction engineering major, said competing lets students test their cars against others to determine if they did a good job in preparing for the event.

“Working toward this competition has helped my ability to work with other engineering majors as a team to achieve making these cars with a deadline,” he said.

LeMaire said his favorite part of the weekend was shouting “We Are…Bulldogs” from the Tech balcony.

“Alumni, parents and fellow students were there; it felt like a football game,” LeMaire said. “This secured our Team Spirit Award that we won.”

Kevin Peters, a senior industrial engineering major, said the most memorable thing about this contest would definitely have to be seeing their red urban concept car on every shell poster within a mile radius of the event.

“Everywhere you looked, you saw a picture of our car from the previous year,” he said.

Peters, president of the eco-car project, said the Eco-Car contest gave him a chance to put theory to the test.

“Instead of just learning engineering principles, I got to apply them to a practical application and see how they really hold up in the real world,” he said.

Peters said managing a team of top engineering students has
kept him busy.

“The past few months have all been a blur in the fact that it seemed like one day I was wearing heavy coats and jeans, and the next I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt,” Peters said. “I’ve realized that you can’t get so caught up in a project that you forget to stop every once in a while and just take some time to live in the moment.”