Mapúa’s Team Aguila ranks second in Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2016

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Members of Mapúa’s Team Aguila with their car, Aguila III, for the Prototype Gasoline Category of the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2016 at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Mapúa Institute of Technology’s Team Aguila soared to greater heights on the seventh year of Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM) Asia held recently at the Rizal Park in Manila, ranking second among 35 competitors in the Prototype Gasoline Category.

This year’s SEM Asia continued to challenge teams of students from different colleges and universities to build a car designed to run the longest distance with the least amount of fuel. The four-day event saw a total of 118 teams from 17 participating countries across Asia, Australia, and Middle East battling it out for supreme energy efficiency.

Team Aguila stood out in the most competitive category as it recorded a fuel consumption of 335 kilometers per liter, the highest mark the Philippines has made so far.

The Prototype Category showcased the most aerodynamic and innovative student-designed cars that competed for maximum efficiency. Cars under this class operated on gasoline, diesel, battery-electric, CNG, hydrogen, or alternative fuel.

According to Team Aguila’s adviser Engr. Sherwin Magon, the team focused on the engine performance as they constantly improved the fuel efficiency. The Mapúa students started enhancing their self-built car as early as July last year.

“Team Aguila was immersed in critical adjustments and replacement of vital parts of the engine mechanical systems, lightening heavyweight moving parts to decrease inertial forces, and ultra-fine tuning the fuel delivery system to match with the engine's performance,” he explained. “This is coupled with periodic test runs, practice driving runs in daytime and night time conditions.”

Team Manager Jude Ricafort also noted that the team consulted technical partners in developing Aguila III’s engine and drivetrain. The Institute has partnered with different firms in the field of engineering to further provide support to Team Aguila.

According to Ricafort, joining SEM Asia has honed skills that are sure to be advantageous when they enter the professional setting.

“The experience has been shaping us to become better engineers. Aside from learning how to manage our time, we also acquired skills such as application, designing, and machining,” he said.

This is one of the clear manifestations of the advancements Mapúa has been making since its implementation of the outcomes-based education (OBE) system, a learner-centered educational approach enabling an institution to equip its students with skills and abilities that meet global academic and industry standards.

Mapúa’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME) dean Engr. Roel John Judilla believes that the key to provide quality education is a relevant curriculum backed up by dedicated faculty members and functional laboratories and classrooms.

“Innovative teaching techniques and providing technical challenges that push the students’ imagination to the limits would also enhance further their skills,” he added.

Mapúa has been a known contender in SEM Asia, consistently earning a spot in the top ten through the years. It also bagged the Safety Awards in 2010 and 2011 and snatched the Technical Innovation Awards in 2013.

“Team Aguila has consistently joined and performed very well in the Shell Eco-Marathon's most competitive category, Prototype Gasoline. I am naturally very proud of this,” Mapúa president and chief executive officer Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea concluded. “Over the years, we have improved our vehicle and we intend to make bolder technological improvements in the years to come.”

The team was also given the Best University Launch award during a contest spearheaded by Pilipinas Shell. The contest recognizes local teams that have achieved most media mileage, and were able to promote their eco-cars well in their respective institutions and universities.

Other members of Mapúa’s Team Aguila are School of MME students Arnel Buan, Renn Veric Brucal, Jose Luis Villalon, Ryan Cesar Manlangit, Marteen Nucum, and School of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering student Elaine Dichoso.