The De La Salle University (DLSU) Eco Car Team from the Philippines won in the Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Virtual League, an annual global competition that has motivated and helped thousands of high school and university students from around the world build ultra-energy-efficient vehicles over the years.
The team won third place in Road to 2050, a second bonus challenge introduced in the League this year, and which asked teams to creatively capture in a 30-sec ad the future of mobility.
Every year the SEM brings new stories of human endeavour and technical excellence, as teams push the boundaries of what’s possible. The Shell Eco-marathon 2021 Virtual Programme received submissions from 139 teams across 20 Asia Pacific and Middle East countries, with the pan-region receiving the most submissions in three of the five virtual competitions: Pitch the Future, Off-track Awards, and Road to 2050. Team AVERERA from the Indian Institute of Technology BHU emerged as the 2021 SEM Global Virtual League Winner this year.
Filipino students have always distinguished themselves in the Shell Eco-marathon Virtual Leagues. Team Hygears of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines finished second in the 2021 Virtual Off-track Awards. Last year, Team Alamat UP from the University of the Philippines was awarded Global Champion of the Pitch the Future competition. Meanwhile, four Philippine entries made it to the finals in the Vehicle Design category in 2019: Team UMindanao Wildcats from the University of the Mindanao; DLSU-Eco Car Team-I.C.E. from the De La Salle University ; PLM Agsikapin from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; and PUP-Hygears from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Manila.
“We are proud of what our students have accomplished in the League,” says Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation Vice President for Corporate Relations Serge Bernal. “Shell believes in the potential of the future generation by investing in the youth of today. The Shell Eco-marathon Road to 2050 shows that our young talents, who will be our leaders of tomorrow, recognize the importance of mobility to our national progress, and want to contribute to its development.”
“The creativity, resilience and determination of the students continue to astound us,” says Norman Koch, Global General Manager for Shell Eco-marathon. “Against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, they demonstrated their passion for winning and innovation through their hard work and delivering top-notch entries to all the virtual challenges. A Virtual Programme this year allowed us to honour the work the students have done and provide a continued opportunity to compete.”
Michael Lirio of the DLSU Eco Car Team names one important lesson he learned from the SEM competition: “To think big for the future. This is important because the future will hold more possibilities and opportunities than the limitations we hold today. To be able to make the future, I must do my best to make my theory into a reality.”
His teammate, Carlos Dizon, acknowledges that SEM developed and built on the students’ knowledge and research skills. He then says that as engineers, they can use the research “to find and solve the different problems that surround our globe so that we can ensure a sustainable future for all mankind.”
“Pilipinas Shell has always championed innovation as one way to drive progress for our nation,” says Bernal. “Our programs train and provides opportunities for Filipino students in the field of STEM (science, engineering, tech, and math). The Shell Eco-marathon is one arena which encourages all of these: innovation, education, and talent development. It continues to find ways to keep the spirit of innovation alive among its student participants. ” The winners were announced in a ceremony streamed on Shell Eco-marathon’s YouTube channel. Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Jr., as well as Shell Pennzoil NASCAR driver for Team Penske Joey Logano and Nissan e.dams Formula E driver Sebastien Buemi joined the online ceremony as special guests.