Irish student engineers wow at Ecomarathon

Irish student engineers wow Ecomarathon
The Geec 3.0, race #330, a battery electric Prototype vehicle competing for team National University of Ireland Galway from Ireland during the final day of Shell Make the Future Live, Sunday, May 28, 2017 in London. (Ed Robinson/Shell)

NUI Galway students’ energy-efficient car breaks 10,000 miles-per-gallon barrier

An energy-efficient car, designed and built by NUI Galway engineering students, has jumped up the international rankings in the premiere global competition for extreme fuel-efficiency.

The Shell Ecomarathon Europe, held in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, is a race in efficiency, not speed, amongst top European university engineering students.

The winner is the car that completes the course, 10 laps over 15.7 kilometres, using the least amount of fuel or energy.

NUI Galway was taking part for the third time, and remains the only Irish competitor. This year’s track included a steep climb and NUIG’s ‘Geec’ model did well to surpass last year’s score of 236 kilometres per kilowatt-hour on the second run.

Irish student engineers wow Ecomarathon
The Geec 3.0, race #330, a battery electric Prototype vehicle competing for team National University of Ireland Galway from Ireland during the final day of Shell Make the Future Live, Sunday, May 28, 2017 in London. (Ed Robinson/Shell)

The Geec team completed 10 trouble-free laps with a record energy score of 354 kilometres per kilowatt- hour. This placed the team in a final 13th place of 41 competitors in the battery-electric prototype category, a jump from 21st place in 2016.

In just three years, successive Geec teams have progressed from newcomer status to the upper tiers of the competition, where they now aim to compete amongst the most advanced ultra-efficient prototype cars in the world. The car’s performance is the equivalent to approximately 10,500 miles per gallon of diesel.

The Geec team consists of 20 students in Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic, Electronic and Computer, and Energy Systems engineering, from first to fourth year, mentored by lecturers Dr Maeve Duffy, Dr Rory Monaghan, Dr Nathan Quinlan and Dr Martin Glavin from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway.



Engineering student Niamh Keogh from Oughterard in Co Galway is one of the two Geec drivers and also worked on analysis and design of the car.

She added: “The Geec is one of the most challenging but rewarding projects I’ve participated in. Nothing compares to the thrill of getting to race the car after putting so much time and work into designing, building and perfecting it.”

The Geec was sponsored in 2016 and 2017 by the Tony Ryan Trust through Galway University Foundation, Shell E&P Ireland, Blackstone Launchpad, ÉireComposites, CADFEM UK & Ireland, ANSYS, Molex, GE, Tool Trays, David Nestor Freight Services, Enform Plastics, MathWorks and IPG Automotive.

• To find out more about the Geec, visit www.theGeec.ie

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