Sask Polytech takes second in elite world-wide competition on first try

Competing against students from around the world, Saskatchewan Polytechnic finished second at the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship in London, England, July 8, 2018.

The strong finish mirrors the team’s second place at the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition in Sonoma, California, in April. The Sask Polytech team was the first Canadian team to earn a spot to compete at Shell’s international Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final, which took place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Fully embracing the environmentally friendly challenge, Sask Polytech students used recycled hockey sticks to build the eco car frame; the body of the car was 3D printed; the starter motor was made out of a repurposed cordless drill; and a two-litre pop bottle was used to pressurize the fuel system.

Sask Polytech earned a second-place finish in Shell’s Drivers’ World Championship, an impressive feat for the first time at the international competition. The team started the Drivers’ World Championship in last place and worked hard over five laps to challenge for the lead on the final lap!  

Sask Polytech eco car specifics:

  • Weight:107 kg
  • Engine:35cc Honda ice auger, 1.25hp
  • Frame:recycled hockey sticks
  • Body shell:3D printed with a low infill so it is hollow
  • Transmission:8 speed derailleur

“I’m very proud and excited for our students and their accomplishments,” says Tim Muench, program head for the Mechanical and CAD/CAM Engineering programs, who travelled with the teams to support them on the track at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. “We made it on the podium in an international event where most of the teams include engineers and have cars that have been refined over several years. Sask Polytech competed against post-secondary institutions from around the world and outperformed all but one.”

“The performance by our Eco Car Team was, in a word, spectacular,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO. “This amazing finish was truly a team effort and exemplifies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of our students and Faculty. To conquer the obstacles that arose, to finish in second place, and to be first Canadian team to place in this elite international competition, were no small feats! We are exceptionally proud of this global recognition of our students and Instructors and appreciate its positive reflection on Sask Polytech, our province and our country.”

Shell Eco-marathon is an annual, global competition for students who are passionate about developing innovative mobility solutions. The challenge for students is to design, build and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. In 2018, Shell Eco-marathon and Drivers’ World Championship competitions were held in Singapore, California, and London, with London hosting the Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final. The top three winning teams from Asia, Europe and the Americas travelled to Shell Eco-marathon Europe to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Drivers’ World Championship Grand Final.

Competing in Sonoma, California and London, England was a Sask Polytech community effort and would not have been possible without the support of schools and departments across the province, including the School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing, School of Transportation, Donor and Alumni Relations and Procurement.

The CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program is a two-year diploma offered at the Saskatoon campus. Students develop the knowledge and skills needed to put computer and engineering principles to work. They learn mechanical engineering design, advanced 3D CAD design and analysis, manufacturing automation and robotics, prototyping, Additive Manufacturing (industrial 3D printing), computer systems and networking.

Mechanical Engineering Technology is a two-year diploma program offered at the Saskatoon campus. The program focuses on mechanical design and drafting, manufacturing, industrial and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems and process instrumentation. Students learn how to apply scientific principles to solve basic engineering problems.

This is the second year Sask Polytech has competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition and the first year Sask Polytech competed in the Shell Drivers’ World Championship.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.