We are the University’s Shell Eco-Marathon team, Brum Eco. We are a new society lead by students that is this year building an ultra-mileage car with the aim of travelling as far as we can on just one litre of fuel. We are aiming to travel 1,500mpg and will be representing the University internationally against 170 teams from around the world and 25,000 spectators at the Shell Eco-Marathon event at a custom built area of the London Olympic Park in July.
So much has happened in the past year it would be impossible to write it all out in just one post. That being said I will try my best to!
Starting up as a brand new society we didn't expect over 60 people to be interested in joining from just the first year students! As well as further interest from those in higher years, enthusiasm to join the team has been so overwhelming we have been short of jobs to give out! This enthusiasm has led to many secondary objectives to be realised, such as the first year student who designed our workbench and a computer simulation of car. Furthermore the large roster of students has given the project leads a lot of extra work in training up them to become workshop ready and proficient in automotive design in order for us to create a sustainable team that we hope will continue for years to come.
I am personally very proud of what the team has achieved in a short time with such an inexperienced team. As undergraduates we have learnt and practised skills that aren't taught until a masters level or beyond! We have managed to manufacture a carbon fibre monocoque for our car, therefore reducing our total vehicle weight to 27.4kg. Our team has also done something quite unique to this project where we have built our own custom engine for the competition; a feat that is more complicated than it sounds, and it sounds quite complicated already! We are on track for the 1,500mpg target and our vehicle manufacture should be finished by the end of the Easter holiday. So stay tuned for another post about that!
I’ve made sure that even though we are a fledgling society we focus some of our time on outreach and encouraging young people into engineering, as well as manufacture of the car. We make weekly trips to local special needs school, Hunters Hill College, in order to help them build a similar type of car for a similar event. This has not only greatly enhanced the children's education in engineering and allowed them to think about other career options, but also developed the Brum Eco volunteers as engineers, teachers and communicators. We’ve also represented the University at the Big Bang Fair, the largest science fair in the UK, talking to all sorts people from students to even an MP about the University and our vehicle. Most recently we had the very rare opportunity to showcase the team at the University’s Annual Meeting and talk with keynote speaker and former CEO of Mercedes F1, Nick Fry. Hopefully we will have even more opportunities to represent the University next year as we become bigger and more grounded.
Our plans in the near future are to start testing our car as soon as possible in preparation for an event at Mallory Park in June. Then we’ll work hard making sure our car is in top shape for the competition in July. More importantly than that though I need to organise the long anticipated social to Cadbury world!
We’re also gearing up for our first appearance at the EPS Societies’ Awards. If you’ve been impressed by what we’ve done in our first official year as a student society please nominate us for an award. That really would be a brilliant way to close our first year!
Co-Founder and Team Principal