Published on July 6th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
NAZA World Unveils RM65, 000 NAZA WORLD-TAYLOR’S SOLAR Vehicle For The Shell Eco-Power Challenge
First-year Taylor’s engineering students take on the challenge of building an energy-efficient car Taylor’s University and NAZA World have deployed their NAZA World Taylor’s Eco Team to design and build an extremely efficient solar vehicle to participate in the Shell Eco Marathon Asia competition. This futuristic vehicle was designed and built by a five-member-team of first year chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering students from Taylor’s University School of Engineering. “NAZA is proud to support and encourage the aspirations of Malaysia’s youth. Our contribution in this endeavour is well worthwhile as it is in line with our hopes that one day our roads will have energy efficient vehicles that enable better conservation of our environment. We are always eager to play a role in integral projects such as this that provide the automotive industry with greener options for the future. On this effort, I wish the NAZA World Taylors’ Eco Team, semoga bejaya!” stated Datuk Wira SM Faisal, Joint Group Executive Chairman of NAZA Group of Companies. Taylor’s Eco Team leader, Low Kean Peng, said that the team is the only team in the competition which consisted of entirely of first year students. “We are driven by a single dream which is to build cars that are incredibly efficient and have the potential to impact our world positively,” he said. “We used state of the art equipment and software available at our labs to ensure that we built a car that is not only light and fuel efficient but also safe and comfortable. In designing this vehicle, we pushed the limits of what is possible with the aim of increasing the awareness of green technology and its potential,” he added.
Shell Eco Marathon Asia will be held for the second time in Malaysia this year from 6th to 9th July in Sepang International Circuit. NAZA World-Taylor’s Eco Team is one of 121 teams from different universities taking place in this challenge which has two categories, urban and prototype. The winning vehicle is the one that achieves the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. “Our team opted to go for the prototype category as we wanted to test new design concepts,” said Wong Zhou Hong, the team’s chief designer. “We are very confident that our car is going to perform well as we ensured that our computer based design was verified using experimental techniques and tests,” Wong added. 21-year-old Nur Fatinah binti Abd Aziz, the only female member of the team, is pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. She was responsible for sponsorship, material selection and safety. “I found working on this project to be an extremely satisfying experience as I managed to learn a lot especially while raising the funds needed to build our car,” she said. “We are really grateful to NAZA world for generously supporting our project,” Nur Fatinah added. The team has two drivers, Firnaaz Ahamed and Louis Chia Wai Kit. Pursuing their studies in Chemical and Electrical and Electronic Engineering respectively, they were also responsible for energy analysis and electrical system. “Although we weigh the lightest among our team members, I doubt that this was the only reason we were chosen to be the drivers,” said Firnaaz jokingly. Agreeing with his team member, Louis added that driver’s skills would be pivotal in winning the race, as the driver needs to be able to complement the car systems by being an integral part of them. Built out of mild steel and fiberglass, the solar car design was inspired by the dolphin’s shape. The car uses a rear wheel drive and steering system.
Associate Professor Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi, the team supervisor and the Dean of Taylor’s University School of Engineering, attributed the success of his students to the Project Based Learning approach that the school has adopted. “Project Based Learning at Taylor’s School of Engineering is developed to challenge multidisciplinary teams of students using real life projects to bring the best out of them. This way the students will develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills besides the technical skills making them highly sought after individuals by future employers,” Dr. Al-Atabi added. Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said, Taylor’s University Vice Chancellor and President, is very glad to see leading industry player Naza World endorsing the School of Engineering’s efforts. “As we continue to push the limits through the use of Project Based Learning, we truly appreciate industry players coming forward to support us as we pursue our journey to develop graduates who are highly sought after by top employers, graduates who will be able to contribute positively toward making Malaysia a high income nation,” he said. Taylor’s University School of Engineering has the honour of being the only private institution in Malaysia to be a member of the prestigious CDIO initiative. The university also recently won the National Formula Varsity Race, in which a team of 7 first year students conceived, designed, built and raced the TRT racing car.