SparKU Student Team Wins 8th Place in SAE Supermileage

Only University from Arab World to Successfully Complete Race

SparKU, a team of nine Khalifa University students from Mechanical, Electrical, Computer and Chemical Engineering programs, has won eighth place out of 31 international universities that participated in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage 2019 competition in the US.

The SAE Supermileage competition offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills. Participating teams are required to develop a single person, extremely high fuel economy vehicle that complies with the Supermileage rules and runs a specified course. The vehicle obtaining the highest combined kilometers per liter (KMPL) rating as well as points on design segment wins the top spot. The Khalifa University team achieved a fuel rating of 384 miles per gallon (163 kmpl).

As stipulated by the organizers, the Khalifa University team successfully developed the complete design, simulation and composite material fabrication, achieving it with expired carbon fiber material from Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC), provided by Strata Manufacturing. The team was also the only one from the Arab world to successfully complete the race and earn a good fuel economy rating.

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “The strong position for Khalifa University’s SparKU team in the SAE Supermileage 2019 competition validates the extent of our faculty’s expertise and student commitment to reach excellence. The students displayed their skills and applied what they learned, thus bringing honor to Khalifa University. We offer our compliments to the faculty and student team members and believe this success will pave way for similar ones in the future.”

Dr. Saeed Almansori, CEO of Halcon System, a defense technology company owned by Abu Dhabi-based Yas Holding Group, said: “It is Halcon Systems’ responsibility as an Emirati organization to support future UAE engineers, including students from Khalifa University, and develop them to become professionals and capable of becoming leaders in any industry. Continuous learning never ends and we urge future engineering graduates to follow that rule through their entire careers to serve their country in the most appropriate and honorable way.”

Faculty advisors included Dr. Bashar El-Khasawneh, Graduate Program Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Reyad AlKhazali, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering. E. Rajesh Ganithi, Mechanical Engineering Department, provided administrative and technical support. Two teams of students – one dealing with the mechanical systems, and the other with the engine and the electrical systems – built the vehicle for the SAE Supermileage 2019 competition and for the senior design project, conforming to the stringent time line, while displaying their project management and technical skills.

Mechanical Engineering student Khalifa AlShehhi and Electrical Engineering student Shamma Alblooshi drove the vehicle. Other team members included Abdulaziz Naqi from Electrical Engineering, Khalifa Rashed of Computer Engineering, and Sultan AlShamsi of Chemical Engineering. From Mechanical Engineering, the students included Alanood Alblooshi, Aamna Alteneiji, May Sharif Afif Asad Al Shami, and Rawan AlKatheeri. Manar Alhebsi was responsible for steering system and wheels.

Mechanical Engineering senior student Al Shami, who was also responsible for car chassis, body, internal and exterior compartments and mechanical systems, said SAE Supermileage 2019 competition in the US provided an opportunity to employ the skills and knowledge learned throughout our university years and plan and execute a design.

She said: “Working with a dedicated and hardworking team and getting to represent our country in an international competition was the most special aspect of this journey.”

Acknowledging the contribution of last year’s team, she added: “This year’s brand new team would not have achieved this modest victory without the advice and experience of the 2018 team. We were competing against strong international teams, some with even 30 members that have been participating for over five years in this challenge. It is also an honor to be the only team from the region to complete the race and represent not only the UAE but the entire Arab world.”

Halcon Systems has been the sole sponsor of Khalifa University SAE Supermileage team for the last two years. ARIC has provided technical and in-kind support.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
19 June 2019