‘Steeldust’, a supermileage vehicle prototype designed by a group of passionate students of KIIT University, was showcased at the prestigious Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2012 held in Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 4th July to 7th July 2012. KIIT Team, comprising of six students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Anunay Choudhary, Sourav Pyke, Subrat Sarkar, Sneh Sagar Raj, Baidik Chakraborty, Anupam Deo and Anurag Deo – became the first ever from Odisha to participate in this international competition.
Key features of the car ‘Steeldust’ include modified 49 cc 4 stroke single cylinder Honda engine, tubular Aluminum T6 6063 chassis, fiber reinforced plastic for strong and light aerodynamic outer body with just 2.5% drag, 16 inch mountain bike recumbent wheels and pressurized fuel delivery system with electronic fuel injection. The car passed all the stringent technical and safety inspections at the event in one shot, a matter of pride for the amateur team of students, who called themselves ‘Octane X’, that developed it.
There were 115 other teams from across the continent competing in this high profile event.‘Steeldust’ was driven on the same track where legends like Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton drove their cars. The students’ endeavor for eco-friendly and smarter mobility was tested and the innovative design was praised by the hosts. The project not only gave them a chance to implement the theory, but also helped the students unleash the inner potential to innovate and find implementable solutions to practical problems.
Shell Eco Marathon Asia is an iconic educational project that challenges competing student teams to design and build the most energy-efficient vehicle possible. The competition dates back to 1939 when Shell employees in USA made a friendly wager over who could travel farthest on the same amount of fuel. Since then it has expanded to two more continents – Asia and Europe. Every year student teams from all over the world compete to cover the farthest distance on the least amount of energy. Some achieve distance equal to Paris from Moscow (2,485 km) on only one litre of fuel.