Aston students win design award at Shell Challenge

Aston's Shell Eco-Marathon team
21 May 2012

A hydrogen powered car designed by Aston University students has won a major award in the 2012 Shell Eco Marathon Europe challenge.

The team of engineering students, competing against 200 student teams from across 24 countries, won Shell’s Eco-Design Award for pushing the boundaries of sustainable driving and car design.  

Their innovative car, which runs on hydrogen, has a body made from cardboard sandwiched between plywood certified by the British Forestry Commission. Its tyre covers are made from bio-resin, infused with hessian fibres, with the whole structure collapsible for easy delivery.

The Shell Eco-Marathon Challenge, this year held in the streets of Rotterdam, Netherlands, is one of the most innovative and challenging student competitions held annually in Europe, America and Asia. The aim is to travel as far as possible on just 1 KWh or 1 litre of fuel.

Aston student’s team aim was to create a hydrogen fuel cell car that would leave a 'lasting impact' on the judges. Designed as an urban car of the future, the concept offers exceptionally high fuel efficiency with unusual car materials capable of creating a truly sustainable design.

Aston University and Oxford University were the only UK universities to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon challenge.       

“The competition remains loyal to its student focused roots, while helping the public to engage with today’s energy challenge;” said Niel Golightly, Vice President, Shell Communications.

“The Shell Eco-marathon is about problem solving, innovation, smarter mobility, the talent of youth and the challenge of competition – it’s one of the most inspiring events we run.”

Professor Robert Berry, Executive Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, said; “We’re delighted that Aston students have had an opportunity to showcase their unique car concept on the international stage.  We are all very proud of their achievement.”

Aston University Eco Group’s unique hydrogen concept car has been shortlisted for ‘Best Collaborative Design (student-business) and innovation in Learning and Teaching’ in the Birmingham Made Me Design Awards 2012. The Aston team of engineers and designers now need your votes to secure the award: vote for the Aston University student team, select the Best Collaboration category from the drop down menu, and pick the Aston car!