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HOUSTON -- The first Shell Eco-marathon competition saw engineering student teams from across the U.S. and Canada compete to drive vehicles they designed the farthest distance using the least amount of alternative or conventional fuel. The team that won, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, achieved 1,902.7 miles per gallon with a combustion engine.
"It's important to be involved in programs like the Shell Eco-marathon to make people aware of what we can achieve in future transportation," said mechanical engineering major Tom Heckel, team manager for Cal Poly's Super Mileage team. "I hope teams like ours will help shape the vehicles people drive years from now and those vehicles will be more environmentally friendly."
Second prize in the combustion engine group was the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., with 1,637.2 miles per gallon. Third place in the group was the Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., at 1,596 miles per gallon.
Student teams in the Hydrogen Group also achieved impressive mileage. The first-place team in the group, the Los Altos Academy of Engineering in Hacienda Heights, Calif., reached 1,038 miles per gallon.
"The Shell Eco-marathon is intended to inspire these students -- the engineers and scientists of the future -- to help us provide mobility that is cleaner, safer, more efficient and more affordable then ever before," David Sexton, president of Shell Oil Products U.S., said in a written statement. "The innovative ideas and the exchange of information taking place at the Shell Eco-marathon demonstrate the approach necessary to address today's energy challenges. There's not one answer; we must have a broad spectrum of economically, socially and environmentally viable energy solutions to meet the future's mobility demands."
While it was the first of its kind in the U.S., the Shell Eco-marathon has seen more than 20 years of competition in Europe and the United Kingdom. Students gain experience in designing and financing their projects. Teams were comprised of about eight students who created prototype vehicles with three or four wheels powered by conventional or alternative fuels such as liquid petroleum gas, biofuels, compressed natural gas, hydrogen or solar power. The Shell Eco-marathon Americas challenge saw 18 conventional fuel-powered entries, one hydrogen-powered entry and one solar-powered entry.
In other Shell news, the company selected ARAMARK Corp., a professional services provider, to supply business dining, facility services and office refreshments to 12,000 employees in 11 locations across the U.S.
"With our comprehensive portfolio of food and facility services, ARAMARK is a single source for a full range of solutions that help our business clients create a great place to work," said Ira Cohn, president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group. "We are looking forward to the opportunity to play a role in keeping Shell's employees motivated and productive throughout their workday."
As part of the agreement, ARAMARK will operate a total of 5.8 million square feet of space in nine locations in Texas and two in Louisiana, and provide management of staff cafes, catering services, office coffee and vending, visual media services, convenience copier management, groundskeeping and interior landscaping and pest control.