Pursuing engineering in itself is a tough task. Think of all the classes, projects, assignments, practicals, exams that you have to go through. On top of that, imagine collaborating with innovators and like-minded people to build inventive things in the automotive domain and taking part in several competitions (oh, and managing to get funds for the same too) . Team Supermileage from Delhi Technological University is a group of such hard-working and talented people who are building the car of future, here they share their journey and learning :-
What you guys are doing is so inspiring , how did you get started?
We were just a couple of motor enthusiasts, like how almost every endeavor starts. Way back in 2005, our aspirations were to change the world,and we have ; Supermileage vehicles are indeed a thing now. It was simple why we started, we wanted to look back at our university experience with a sense of accomplishment, rather than nothing-ness.
Besides the cool factor, what other real challenges are you solving with your innovation? How can it be useful in the Indian context?
The whole idea of our vehicle, this concept of ‘Supermileage vehicle’ if you may, is what is relevant. We wish that this concept be developed and worked upon so that a fuel-efficient and safe car is developed for Indian roads that the average man can use and afford.
Usually, fuel-guzzling sports cars are considered aspirational and on the other hand, fuel efficiency is more of a necessity. Do you think these two can be merged together to create something that’s aspirational yet good for environment?
It isn’t impossible. Nothing ever really is. But, it is a very tall order and we need more resources, and support from various organizations. After all we are only college students. But never say never, we might just pull it off, but it would be very difficult and exhausting.
What were some of the challenges that you faced?
It is a learning experience because we have to do our best with what we get. We innovate to see what can be done, and do it if it is feasible. This is our biggest challenge, to do the best to beat ourselves at the given task. Funds and proper resources do pose a challenge but somehow we manage to pull this off. It is an oversimplification, but it is true.
How did you manage funds for this? How easy or difficult was it to get sponsors on board?
We have a corporate department that gets us funds and resources from third parties. We also have monetary and logistical support from our college and college staff. Getting funds for technical projects is herculean task in our country but we manage to do it.
What have been your biggest achievement so far?
Our biggest achievements since our inception are
- Most Visually Appealing Design : SAE Supermileage Competitions 2005
- Best Team Attitude : SAE Supermileage Competitions 2005
- Best Design Report : SAE Supermileage Competitions 2007
- Best New Team : Finnish Mileage Marathon 2009
- 9th position in Urban Concept Gasoline Category : Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2016
This year we have managed to secure a mileage of about 100kmpl. We sure hope to secure a position in the Shell Eco Marathon 2017.
Do you guys see yourself pursuing this post college as well?
Quite frankly, we haven’t thought about it yet. We are focused on the mission at hand. But if given the chance and more resources, and support from various organizations, to fabricate this concept car for further research, then we would most definitely be interested.
How do you guys approach your work on this project and manage day-to-day operations?
It is not easy. We work day and night; we brainstorm almost all the time; we make choices; we squeeze out time from our college schedule to work on the project; it’s a lot of work. It requires dedication and most of all, passion to complete what you have set out to achieve.
How big a role your college has played in your success?
We have our college to thank for almost everything. Their support was important in every step along the way. Be it tools or resources or workspace or funds, they have always provided us support and guidance. Our technical advisor, Mr. A.K. Agarwal is the best expert we could have ever asked for and we thank him for his faith in us.
What’s next for your team?
Shell Eco Marathon 2017. Plain and simple. That’s our goal for now, one step at a time. Let’s see how it goes and then take it from there.
You can learn more about them here.