The QU team has built cars weighing 50kg and 48 kg, which run on GTL diesel and rechargeable battery, respectively, whereas the TAMUQ team has made a 110kg GTL diesel powered vehicle. SEM is one of the world’s most innovative and challenging student competitions held annually in Europe, America, and Asia. The winner is the team that goes the furthest distance using the least amount of energy. QU student Khalid al-Adba told the cars’ unveiling event yesterday that the 19-member team comprises seven mechanical engineering students, six electrical engineering students, and six faculty members. “The GTL-powered car was made by the mechanical engineering students and the battery-powered one by the electrical engineering students,” al-Adba explained. TAMUQ’s Hussein Zahreddine, who graduated in mechanical engineering recently, said his team had 12 students, comprising 11 from his stream and one from electrical engineering, in addition to a faculty member. QSTP is providing financial support to the teams by matching the amounts they have managed to raise independently. Executive chairman and science and technology adviser Dr Tidu Maini described the initiative as an example of Qatar taking leadership in crucial topic of climate change, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference the country is hosting later this year. “Considering that Qatar is being criticised for its CO2 emissions, our young people are taking this as an opportunity to convey a very important message to the community,” he said. Dr Maini expressed confidence that SEM will influence younger generations to think about sustainable mobility and contribute to the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030 by developing local talent and addressing the challenges of a sustainable energy future. Qatar Shell’s executive vice president Wael Sawan said the competition will equip the ‘future engineers’ with hands-on engineering skills as well as project management skills. QU’s vice president for research, Dr Hassan al-Derham observed it is vital for students to see how their technical studies translate into tangible projects that can make a difference. TAMUQ’s associate dean for academic affairs, Dr Hamid Parsaei said the benefits of this experience extend far beyond the competition itself, as the students have improved their technical abilities whilst learning the professional skills needed to participate successfully on an engineering team. The most fuel-efficient car ever designed by a SEM student team was capable of driving 4,896.1km on a single litre of fuel, the equivalent of driving from Qatar to Paris.