In the upcoming Shell Eco-Marathon (SEM) to be held in Singapore, a group of mechanical engineering students will be participating for the second time on a global platform. But, there is one thing that is bound to take the readers by surprise. This 20 member team is the only all girls team competing in a male dominated field. Led by Manu Priya Vats, Team Manager & Reserve Driver for Team Panthera, her reply for encouraging girls to take up mechanical and automation engineering was, “We feel appropriate programs can be introduced at a high school level to interest, excite and spread awareness amongst girls to take up Mechanical Engineering as their preferred career choice. Establishment of Technical Schools only for women can also encourage the participation of girls in this field.” The team is planning to start other initiatives along side the project of building a second iteration of the Iris. The first version of the prototype participated in the SAE Supermilage event in 2016 held in Marshall, Michigan. The team won 'Best Overall Team Attitude' along with $100 cash prize. They secured an overall 7th position in this event.
The biggest challenge that Team Panthera faces is the lack of sponsors which is due to the dominance of the opposite gender in this field. This is where Shell comes in and have supported the all-women's team in their participation at the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon. “ There are many such challenges which we will face in the future. One of them is acceptance in society as women mechanical engineers and proving our capabilities. But as long as we are united and help each other, we are sure to overcome any challenges that might come our way,” added Vats. The Iris 2.0 will use Aluminium 6063 T-6 tubes for the 'reverse tricycle' frame. The three-wheeled design offers less rolling resistance compared to a four-wheeled layout. For the aerodynamic shell, carbon fibre will be used.
The team keeps consulting industry experts to discuss the best possible materials and they are adding innovations to the existing technologies to make a better vehicle. Apart from the industry experts, the university faculty and teams who have earlier participated in SEM are also consulted. The Iris 2.0 will take eight months to complete with the first three months on research where each group will work on improvements to the earlier version, availability and cost of each part and design feasibility using CAD (or Computer Aided Design). The next five months are dedicated to fabrication and testing of the prototype before the final participation. These start from building a PVC (Poly-Vinyl Chloride) to test driver's ergonomics after which parts like steering wheel, wheels, brakes, engine, transmission, body shell etc. after which static tests are done to check the working of all parts. The team then moves to dynamic testing of the vehicle where the practicality of the vehicle is tested which includes working of brakes, driver escape and kill switch operation. Lastly, fuel economy tests are done in a simulated manner before the actual event takes place.
The concept came from the concern of these students to make mobility more sustainable and environment-friendly. “We are very proud of Team Panthera for being the first all-women team from Asia and reaching this far in the competition. At Shell, we aim to inspire the youth to develop smarter and cleaner fuels to build a better, sustainable world for future generations. Team Panthera’s achievement is testament to the fact that with hard work, determination and a clear goal, there is no place for stereotypes. We wish the team all the very best for the next phase of the competition and hope that they emerge as winners at SEM 2017 in Singapore.” ,” said Vikash Mishra, Country Head, External Media Relations at Shell India on the achievement by Team Panthera.
The team consists of the following members:
*Manu Priya Vats (3rd Year) – Team Manager & Reserve Driver
*Shreya Dixit (2nd Year) – Technical Head
*Panya Rawat (2nd Year) – Technical Head
*Divya Dhankhar (3rd Year) – Publicity Head
*Shreya Bagauli (2nd Year) – Sponsorship Head
*Mona (2nd Year)
*Kirti (2nd Year)
*Mrinali Pandey (2nd Year)
*Shivani Rawal (2nd Year)
*Aanchal Saxena (2nd Year)
*Shruti Srivastava (1st Year)
*Kaumodhi Sirohi (1st Year)
*Ojaswini Saraf (1st Year)
*Vanshika Pundir (1st Year)
*Prakriti Saini (1st Year)
*Arushi Singh (1st Year)
*Aditi Jha (1st Year)
*Komal Mor (1st Year)
*Kashika Tripathi (1st Year)
*Arushi Singh (1st Year)
The team also runs a crowd-funding campaign, www.ketto.org, for general public who would want a sustainable solution for personal mobility. We wish the team all the luck for the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon!