Khalifa University Student Team Wins Top Spot in Verbal Presentation at 2021 SAE Collegiate Design Series Supermileage Competition

July 5, 2021

Khalifa University Team Also Retains 6th Spot in Design Segment to Remain Ahead of Renowned International Universities


Khalifa University has announced that a 21-member student team led by Sultan Al Hassanieh has won the top spot in verbal presentation for the first time during the Knowledge Event at the 42nd Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series Supermileage Competition for 2021. The team also retained 6th spot overall in the Design Event, the same position it won last year in Michigan, US.


The verbal design report demonstrates the Khalifa University team’s understanding and application of the engineering principles that support their design of the one-person, single-cylinder engine vehicle, capable of achieving fantastic fuel economy during a 6-lap attempt around an approximately 1.6-mile-long, banked, oval track.



Since the traditional validation event at the 42nd SAE Collegiate Design Series Supermileage Competition was cancelled due to the pandemic this year, the organizers opted to score teams based on two major criteria – the submitted design report that details the design and fabrication of the vehicle, and a verbal presentation on Zoom in which team members present their design process and final outcome to a panel of judges. The student team was then critically questioned, and the Khalifa University students proved their mettle to reach the top spot. They were also assessed on team participation, program knowledge and technical knowledge.


Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Our faculty members and the students have once again demonstrated that Khalifa University remains the top-ranked, globally-acknowledged academic institution with unparalleled expertise. Winning an international competition of this stature not only brings honor to the university but also to the UAE. Congratulations to the student team and the faculty members who guided them through training and support.”


The Khalifa University team achieved this remarkable feat even though it entirely consisted of only first-time participants, demonstrating the world-class faculty’s role in imparting knowledge, as well as the talented students’ capability in designing and presenting the project to the international judges. Also for the first time, this year’s team comprised students from all majors.


Dr. Bashar Khasawneh, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Reyad El-Khazali, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, advised the students on the project.


In line with the healthcare protocols being implemented on campus at Khalifa University, team members were allowed to visit the campus and work on fabricating parts of the vehicle that they are responsible for, while complying with all necessary safety precautions. Team members used online video communications applications to ensure safety while discussing the general concept of the design, which was then developed into working theoretical models of the vehicle’s subsystems.


Dr. Khasawneh said: “Though the student team leaders were initially worried that the majority of the work would be held online, they achieved the top position because of team skills. What made the Khalifa University Supermileage team one of the best in the world was how every member ensured to constantly support and motivate each other, creating an inherently supportive atmosphere.”


The SAE Collegiate Design Series Supermileage Competition challenges students to design and construct a single-person, fuel efficient vehicle that will run a specified course to obtain the highest combined km/L (mpg) rating. Teams generally spend 8-12 months designing, building, and preparing their vehicles for competition.


Clarence Michael
English Editor Specialist
5 July 2021