‘Diesel Dawg’ takes first place at Shell Eco-marathon Americas

May 1, 2014 | Engineering and Science

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Louisiana Tech University’s new eco-marathon car “Diesel Dawg” earned first place honors for vehicle design and third place for best diesel fuel mileage in the Urban Concept category of the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition held this past weekend in Houston, Texas.

Louisiana Tech's 'Diesel Dawg' Urban Concept vehicle.

Louisiana Tech’s ‘Diesel Dawg’ Urban Concept vehicle.

Louisiana Tech’s other entrant, “Tech Double X,” won second place for best gasoline mileage, also in the Urban Concept category.  The team earned a total of $3,500 in cash awards which will be used to help fund work on next year’s new vehicle.

“I am very proud of the way the team performed this year,” said Dr. Heath Tims, associate professor of mechanical engineering and team adviser.  “It is great to have students, parents, and alumni in Houston to support and cheer the team.  We will miss having next year’s competition in Houston, but are looking forward to competing in a new venue this coming year.”

Shell Eco-marathon Americas will move to Detroit, Mich. next year where the Louisiana Tech team plans to compete against an ever growing field of participants.  Louisiana Tech’s was one of 125 teams participating in the competition which included other local teams from Benton and Ruston High Schools.  Both local high school teams were mentored by professors from Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science.

Louisiana Tech’s team was comprised of sixteen young men and women who serve as volunteers and do not receive class credit for their work.  They design, build, paint and test the cars on their own time, usually in the evenings, after class and on weekends.  The team members also assist with fundraising and publicity. While employing skills they learn in the classroom, these students are also developing leadership and project management skills that will serve them throughout their careers.

Dr. Hisham Hegab, dean of Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, expressed his pride in the team’s hard work and innovative designs.

“I am pleased to see the great involvement by our students and the dedication of our faculty,” said Hegab.  “It is a tremendous effort to design and build a car from sketches on paper to a functional prototype within a single year that successfully competes at this event.  These types of hands-on projects are what truly set apart the educational experiences available at Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science.”

The primary goal of Shell Eco-marathon competition is to encourage the world’s next generation of engineers and scientists to consider new, sustainable ways to meet the rising demand for energy. Written by Catherine Fraser –