ENEC Underlines It’s Commitment to Encourage Science and Engineering in the UAE


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is helping to power a team of aspiring engineers and scientists from the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Ruwais Colleges as they take on thousands of young innovators from across Asia to build their own ultra fuel-efficient vehicle to compete in Shell Eco-marathon Asia competition in Manila, the Philippines from the 6th to 9th of Feb 2014.

The super-mileage challenge was created by Shell in 1939, and is designed to inspire student innovation, whilst developing future technologies that represent game-changing fuel efficiency and transportation performance. To help meet the growing energy demand and reduce future CO2 emissions, Shell Eco-marathon Asia challenges participants to design, build, and test vehicles to go the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

In Ruwais, a 17-member team has been putting the finishing touches to their clean, green and ultra energy-efficient car ahead of the competition which kicks into action in Manila on Thursday (February 6). ENEC has placed its support behind the young engineering students by sponsoring the team who are competing against more than 1,000 other students from 16 countries across Asia.

“Every industry needs the enthusiasm, commitment and passion of young innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and improve even the safest and most efficient of technologies. Investing in the next generation of engineers and scientists is one of our most important priorities at ENEC,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Chief Executive Officer.

“These talented students are the future of our industry, and all high-technology industries in the UAE. It is this kind of pioneering spirit, out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration that we are looking for at ENEC. In our industry, we prioritize safety, integrity, transparency and efficiency – these are the very values that are driving the work of this group of young engineers, and we are proud to support them.  We are now looking forward to seeing their progress in the competition and we wish them the very best of luck. We are sure they will do the UAE proud,” added Al Hammadi.

ENEC’s training and development program, Energy Pioneers, which has been running since the company’s inception in 2009, aims to attract and train the country’s most talented science students, engineering graduates and experienced professionals to provide them with an opportunity to become pioneers of the emerging nuclear energy sector.

To date, ENEC employs more than 900 people and has more than 250 students enrolled across its scholarship programs. By 2020, ENEC will be one of the UAE’s largest employers
with a team of more than 2,000 people working to deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the nation.

Team leader Abdulazeez Al Mehairi, a graduating student of higher diploma in megatronic engineering, is the young man who has been charged with overseeing the development of HCT Ruwais Colleges’ vehicle.

Construction of the ENEC-sponsored vehicle took three months to produce and although there have been some challenges in the design and construction along the way, Abdulazeez believes the team is now well placed to be competitive against the best teams in the world next week.

“This is not an easy competition and we’ve faced some challenges because we’ve been so committed to building a dynamic system that would enable us to consume less fuel without affecting the speed,” said Abdulazeez.

“Having partners such as ENEC supporting our team has allowed us to overcome the challenges and build a world-class car that will put us in contention with the front-runners of the competition. Our team principles are the same as ENEC’s and we’ve worked hard to develop a car that pushes the boundaries of fuel-efficiency and energy conservation.”
The team will be competing in the “Prototype” category, which invites student teams to enter futuristic prototypes – streamlined vehicles focused on maximising fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction.

Materials to build the vehicle have been sourced from all over the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, in an effort to meet the team’s high standard manufacturing needs. The end result has been an impressive design that is a light-weight suspension system, which allows for comfort and performance, whilst creating a realistic interior with gauges and a dashboard.

Nial Farrell, an Acting Director at the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Ruwais Colleges, said: “The competition is a unique opportunity for our students to apply their engineering and project management skills to a real-time project.”

“It has been an inspiring process to watch the students take on the challenge and grow from it. They’ve learnt the importance of teamwork, good communication skills and importantly, it has given them the chance to test their talents on an international scale. As a team they have achieved so much, and win or lose in The Philippines, they will all be able to take away a great deal from this incredible experience.”

Over several days, teams make as many attempts as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. Cars drive a fixed number of laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organizers calculate their energy efficiency and name a winner in each class and for each energy source. Off-track awards are given for other achievements including safety, teamwork, design, and technical innovation.

The annual super-mileage competition kicked off in Asia in 2010. The competition has come a long way since it all began in a Shell research laboratory in the United States as a friendly wager between scientists to see who could achieve the most miles per gallon from their vehicle.