Team “The Y-Nots!”
“A truly iconic educational project, the Shell Eco-marathon Asia has been challenging for competing student teams for a very long time to design and build the most energy-efficient vehicle possible. The winning vehicle is the one that travels the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. The year 2011 marks the 2nd edition of the Shell Eco-marathon Asia, in which more than 120 teams from about 15 countries will take part. The team Y-Nots is among the teams who will contest the mega event in Malaysia”
Who you are?
The Y-Nots: We are a group of six students from AIR University, Islamabad currently doing Bachelors of Engineering in Mechatronics. The name of our team is “The Y-Nots!” and the name of the car is “dL Hammer”. Our team includes Syed Farhan Ali Shah – Team Manager, Muhammad Umair Tahir, Rameez Zubair, Kashif Hassan Awan, Mohd. Afzal Siddiqui and Yawar Hayat Khan.
What is your project?
We intend to make a prototype (one manned) vehicle that can cover the most distance using one liter of fuel, but this is not it, we are not only trying to work on the efficiencies of the engine but we are also using a fuel that is much cheaper than gasoline i.e. ethanol.
Ethanol is a fuel that is made up from the crops of sugarcane and potatoes and has no engine supporting it to 100% in Pakistan.This car would be the first ethanol E100 car to be made in Pakistan as ethanol is one fuel type that has always been neglected in Pakistan due to its variance from the petrol engine. This car would be able to cover a distance of 150kms-200kms in one liter of ethanol fuel (last year’s ethanol record being 133kms) which can cause a revolution in the field of energy.
Why you choose Ethanol?
Well, we studied a lot about different fuels that can be used as an alternate for gasoline. All the fuels such as plug in electricity, solar, hybrid, coal, natural gas etc had different pros and cons, but one fuel stood dominantly on top of the list. It too had complications, but they were to be treated quite easily, so Ethanol became a decent choice for us.Usually our university research limits to events;
what is your opinion?
The purpose of this car is not only to participate in this mega event or to secure a position in it, but this car is most importantly being made for the prosperity and the economy of our nation giving massive records in the form of energy as well as the healthier environment as it emits 80% lesser pollution as compared to petrol.
This is the time where we, the upcoming engineers of Pakistan have to take a step forward towards the rehabilitation and show the world that we are less than none. “We are not waiting for tomorrow because we are busy bringing the best out of today.”
What inspires you to presume this field?
Well, actually it is no individual became the inspirational force. The inspiration was its uniqueness, we liked the way things challenged us and wanted to solve them our way.What is your ultimate goal?Our ultimate goal is to make people aware of this fuel and make this fuel accepted in our country as this will solve the catastrophe we are facing due to ever rising gasoline prices.
Where do you like Pakistan to stand?
We would like Pakistan to stand in a place where it would be recalled as a nation that took a step forward to rehabilitate themselves by their own.
What challenges you faced while during this project?
That’s something usual now, when we first talked about this fuel type, no one was ready to believe that we could do it, people also asked us to quit this project. But we were up to it and had to do it, so was the name of the team found, “The Y-Nots!” As far as technical issues are concern; they keep on coming every now and then.
The major problems that we faced includes the non availability of parts and piece and of course the sponsor, this is the biggest hurdle between us and the completion of this car. As being students, it is almost impossible for us to put in such an amount of money by ourselves, so we are looking for sponsorship and hope that soon will find sponsorship for this project and make it happening.Who was your guide?Basically our university guided a lot, every professor; every teacher taught us a lot. But our supervisor assistant professor Liaquat Ali Khan specially motivated us to perform this task and his vast knowledge and experience helped us to achieve our goal.
How difficult it was to get material and resources for your project?
Research work is never easy, first of all, we had difficulties taking our first step, but as time passed by, things changed, we regularly used to gather material; either from internet or from different books and discuss it in our late night meetings. But frankly speaking; technical difficulties are not that much big issues than the money, it is the toughest resource to obtain.
Do you think that government and university should help people like you?
We don’t ask these high personnel to straight away come and help us or to any kind of charity, but we at least need their support.
We want them to back us up, they can meet us whenever they want, first check our progress, and if it attracts them, then they can help us, either by promoting or by financing. We are doing this for the sake of this country, and can’t give our 100% until we’re not supported by them.
How did you build your technical skills?
We studied a lot, we never knew when the night passed by and the sun came out, it was all research work. As we all knew how an engine work, understanding the inner function of an engine came rather easy to us and we transformed the theory into practice.
We spent lots of hours in workshops, on lathe machines, and in different places like welding shops, engine centers etc. that hands on experience improved our skills many folds. And definitely the guidance of our teachers, without their support our skills were nothing.
Did you follow the scientific method or just built it naturally?
Nothing is built naturally, and altering an engine can never be done naturally. Of course we followed the scientific methods; we calculated the different modifications in the engine through documentation and the formulas and then moved on.
Did your family, friends or teachers helped in your projects?
Of course they did, without the support of our parents and our supervisor we could never have achieved what we have today. We are really thankful to them for their never ending support and belief in us.
What else you are doing then this car?
We are working on converting a diesel engine to 100% CNG without wasting power that’s yet to be done. We are still working on it, let’s see where do we reach in it, but we are very positive about success.
Would you like to give any message for fellow students?
For fellow students and the public, we would like to say that you should never give up in your life, no matter how many obstacles you face, just remember, the more problems you face, the more fruit you get; as it is said “No pain, no gain”. “The Y-Nots!” is a motivation for all those who somewhere tried and couldn’t succeed in their goal. Get up people! This is the time we should join our hands for the prosperity of our nation.Anything for government or influential people?For government or influential people, we just want that give us a chance, that’s all we need, do support creativity in our country, that’s the biggest reason for brain drain. It’s the little thing you do that can bring a big change. We as a nation are probably only one step away from greatness; one chance – that’s all.