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01/11/2018

The Nelson Mandela University Eco-Car Team were again crowned Champions of the 2018 Shell Eco-Marathon: South Africa (SEM:SA) in their category at the Zwartkops Raceway in Mid-Rand, Gauteng last weekend

The event saw a record entry of 21 competitors from four different African countries, including international university entrants from Nigeria, Botswana and Namibia.

This is the third time in a row that the team has won this accolade, each time shattering the previous event records. The team's efforts this time around saw a new event record of 220 km/l set for a petrol engined vehicle, which is equivalent to a standard car with a 70 litre tank managing to drive 15,393 km without refilling! This was a further huge 20% improvement on last year’s result, and an overall 73% improvement on their first attempt in 2016.

This year’s winning team of South African, and effectively African, champions consisted of team leader Byron Blakey-Milner, driver Nureen Hoosein, Chris Abraham, Lehlohonolo ‘Prince’ Sekere and Dale Flynn. They were accompanied and supported on the event by Mechanical Engineering staff members Clive Hands, Mervin Knoesen and Amish Lalla. The team introduced several new innovations this year including metal 3D printed titanium parts that had been topology optimised and lattice-designed, a bespoke telemetry system, and a lightweighting regime that saw a further 5kg shaved off the previous year’s record-breaking vehicle.

The team has expanded its area of interest to involve the University of Stellenbosch’s MicroCT Scanning Centre, the national centre for Additive Manufacturing CRPM at CUT, and has sponsorship from Altair Europe, who has also provided the University with free use of their advanced analysis software suite of products across all Faculties, and has proved a consistent cross-disciplinary and cross-instutional success.

Both Clive and Byron recently attended the prestigious Altair ATC: Europe Technical Conference in Paris, where a presentation was made to an international audience of both academics and leading industry figures, which included  representatives from Boeing, Airbus, Mercedes, BMW, European Space Agency (ESA), Jaguar-Land Rover, Volvo, LG & Ferrari among the nearly 1000 delegates.

They will also attend the upcoming RAPDASA Conference in Johannesburg next week to present a paper on the work done in the development of the Topology Optimized and Lattice-Designed components successfully used in this year’s winning vehicle in the 2018 SEM:SA in tandem with the CT Scanning Centre (UStellenbosch) and CRPM (CUT) to the attending academic and industry members representing the burgeoning South Africa Additive Manufacturing community.

Contact information
Mr Clive Hands
Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 504 3375
Clive.Hands@mandela.ac.za