Let it never be said that we here at CollegeTimes don't have our finger on the pulse, our two hands firmly clasped to the scruff of the zeitgeist. Tired are this generation of students of frothy entertainment news; weary are they of the incessant sluice of superficial news of Love Island, of hearing of Tony McGregor's crisp €20 notes. Instead, what everyone pines to hear of, what everyone is champing at the bit to know about, are technical innovations in the aerodynamic efficiency of experimental electric cars. Well if you are sitting in a car - electric and experimental or otherwise - then buckle in, otherwise simply brace yourselves in as close to the crash position as you can approximate given your current situation, for we've got the news for you.
A team of some 25 NUIG students have taken home a major international award for technical innovation at the Shell Eco-marathon - a competition for advancements in ultra-efficient vehicles. The NUIG team's vehicle, named the Gawlay energy-efficient car, or Geec, won the Technical Innovation Award due to revolutionary designs in reducing drag around the wheels of the car.
According to Tom Dillon, a student from Barna Co. Galway, who was largely responsible for the innovation, the redesign constitutes an "an aerodynamic seal that minimises the gap between the wheels and the car's body at all times." Computer simulations of their car have shown it to offer a reduction in aerodynamic drag of up to 27%.
If you are not currently squirming in your seat with excitement at this hot load of maths and stats coming your way, then I'm sorry, but the rest of this article is not for you. Perhaps you will find this more to your liking.
Taking part in the competition were 149 teams from the best engineering schools and universities throughout Europe, comprising some 2,000 students. The Geec is so far Ireland's only entry into the competition, and has been so for the past four years, representing the country in the battery-electric category. Progressing from 23/50, in 2015, to 13/50 in 2017. The cars are judged in a race that is not about speed or finishing first, that would be far too traditionally interesting. No, instead the race is about sustaining and maximising fuel-efficiency across the course. Contain yourselves.
The Geec is apparently so profoundly energy-efficient that it could travel from Galway to Dublin on one kWh of electricity; that is the cost of 15 cents of electricity. It has a fuel consumption rate equivalent to over 10,000 miles per gallon of diesel. Again, if you aren't someone who gets excited by the thought of such astoundingly impressive energy-efficiency then you really are reading the wrong article.
Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “This result puts us firmly on the map as one of the premier engineering schools in the world for the depth and quality of our education and for our mentorship and support of students.”
For those of you however who like to receive their tech news in the form of short, edited for news broadcast, televisual sound-bites narrated by Pat Kenny, then oh boy, have you come to the right place.
They have uploaded to their Twitter a time-lapse of the 15 laps their vehicle performed at the competition, it's a pretty astounding achievement for a group of Irish university students.
Timelapse of a full 15 laps
in #shellecomarathon 2018 last weekend. Our drivers follow precise plans, look for the smoothest lines, and compete with all the other drivers trying to do the same. pic.twitter.com/f6PleZAuLY
— the Geec (@TheGeec) July 13, 2018