NUI Galway students clinch prestigious award for their developments.

A team of engineering students from NUI Galway have claimed the top prize for technical innovation at The Shell Eco-marathon in Europe. The contest is an international competition for fuel-efficient vehicles which took place London in July.

The students, who have named their prototype “Geec” (Galway energy efficient car), were the only Irish team at the European contest. This year, more than 2000 students from 149 schools across Europe took part in the competition. The prototypes are put to the test on a 15km test track.

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The competition does not focus on speed, but rather on fuel efficiency. The Geec is able to travel approximately 350km on a single charge, making the cost of travel from Dublin to Galway about 15c.

As winners of the technical innovation portion of the competition, the Irish student engineers “demonstrated outstanding technical ingenuity along with optimal use of new materials, components, and inventions.”

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During the award presentation, it was noted that the Irish team “used an effective and simple approach to lower the undercarriage aerodynamic drag of the steering wheels of their prototype vehicle.”

In a video shared on their YouTube page, the Geec team showcased their award-winning prototype in motion at this year’s contest.

The NUI Galway team has been in competition since 2015, with each year passing showing more and more success. 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.”