Students challenged to stretch imagination

Shell Oman held a special ceremony to honour the student teams that represented Oman at Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2017 in Singapore early this year. The ceremony was held under the auspices of Her Highness Sayyida Dr Mona bint Fahd al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). Speaking to the Observer, HH Sayyida Mona said: “I was astonished and very proud to see the young innovators who are still studying. So they have the load of their studies and at the same time they found time to work as a team, spare the time to innovate and look for solutions to the global issues. So it is not about winning or participating, but the attempt to find solutions.

“I find them the best. Fuel has become a challenge, pollution has become an issue. We all look into the eco side of the systems. Hope to see more innovators in this field.” Teams from SQU and German University of Technology (GUTech) were among more than 120 teams from different colleges and universities in Asia, Middle East and Australia who gathered for a four-day event to showcase, test and compete with their eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles.
At the ceremony, the teams presented their experience from the event. Following that, they were honoured at the ceremony.
Oman Air was also recognised for the logistics support it provided to the teams. The event acknowledged other Omani enterprises such as Engineering for Kids and Innovation Factory, and media outlets that partnered with Shell Oman in supporting the initiative among other social investment programmes.

At the event, student teams are challenged to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency in a real-world urban environment, and winners are determined by the mileage achieved on a litre of fuel, rather than speed. Shell Eco-Marathon Asia is a visible demonstration of Shell’s commitment to help the world meet its growing energy needs in a responsible way by working together with students, partners and other stakeholders. The programme encourages students to develop innovative vehicles that exemplify fuel efficiency and the future of transportation. Shell Eco-Marathon programme is one of the most innovative and challenging student competitions held annually in Europe, America and Asia.“We also look forward to continuing our support for this initiative in Oman in the coming years because we are confident that Shell Eco-marathon is a great learning and development experience.”
“It will help them further develop their skills while turning their vision for sustainable mobility into reality and at the same time bring back their knowledge to their peers in the Sultanate. Mohammed Mahmood al Balushi, CEO of Shell Oman Marketing Company, said: “Shell Eco-Marathon is a visible demonstration of Shell Oman’s commitment to support the Sultanate’s vision for sustainable development and energy future. This initiative provides an opportunity for the new generation of innovative leaders from Oman to engage in a global dialogue on energy transition. I am delighted by the progress in the performance and diversity of the Omani teams represented at the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia this year, with two Omani women participants from GUTech contributing to the success of the team.”
“Shell Eco-Marathon is an opportunity which involves young people tackling a serious world challenge — energy efficiency — in a fun and constructive way. It promotes technical, leadership and teamwork skills, pushes students’ boundaries and gets them thinking on their feet to overcome a variety of obstacles creatively. Chris Breeze, Shell’s Country Chairman in Oman, said: “We support the Shell Eco-Marathon initiative along with the other initiatives that are focused on the inevitable transition in the world’s energy system.

Lakshmi Kothaneth