By Nayera Yasser
After 10 month of day-dreaming about the perfect formula one car, the day finally came to share the secrets of this marvellous gem with the world’s most prominent automobile frantics. A team of 28 students took upon themselves the task to revolutionise one of the country’s most neglected industries through creating the most advance racing cars.
Ain Shams University (ASU) racing team is a group made of ambitious engineering students who dedicate their time to research and implement the most cutting edge technology available worldwide.
“ASU Racing Team (ASURT) is a group of Multidiscipline Engineering Students supervised by our professors at the Faculty of Engineering at Ain Shams University aiming to revive industry and technology in Egypt; specifically Automotive industries and technologies, through learning, applying and teaching knowledge,” said Mohamed Abd El-Shakour, formula student Team leader of ASU Racing Team.
The student activity mainly aims at reviving the national economy through focusing on the automotive industry in Egypt, which has been suffering in the past couple of decades after the disappearance of locally-made cars.
“We believe that there is a lot of potential and capabilities in the Egyptian youth appearing in their passion to learn and revive our nation through strengthening a couple of heavy industries that could cause a remarkable economical rise. Believing in this, we decided to take the initiative and take a step towards building the starting block (a platform), transferring knowledge and application, aiding the youth and start reviving the Automotive and Mobile – Robotics industries, technologies and businesses,” said Abd El-Shakour.
While the team is based in Egypt, it does not miss a chance to join other international competitions or seminars in order to keep in touch with global evolution and technology. Due to their constant international presence, the team is currently one of the very few local initiatives recognised abroad.
“We decided to start participating in Formula Student UK (FSUK) and Shell Eco Marathon to apply our knowledge and research into reality and compete with other universities around the world, making this a useful experience of comparing knowledge and seeking experience. Our mission is to establish an advanced Egyptian research entity with divisions concerned with automotive engineering and mobile robotics, so this initiative is to create young leaders with the passion and skills required for this mission,” Abd El-Shakour elaborated.
This year the team poured their hearts and minds into one concrete plan ahead of the Formula Student UK in order to make a great presentation for their fourth time in the international competition.
The competition is initially divided into two categories, class 1 and class 2. For class 1 the students are asked for a fully constructed and running racing car as for class 2 the students are only asked for a project and clear plan of a constructed car. This year ASU’s team participated with a plan for Class 2.
“We worked hard for the past ten months to participate in FSUK 2015 and we ended up with a great position among 22 teams from all over the world including some prestigious German and English universities. We also came in the 6th place in the design event,” said Abd El-Shakour.
The team did not only leave with the forth place which is considered the highest place ever attaint by an Egyptian, African or Arab team; but also one of the team’s brilliant members, Nancy Yousry, took second place in the business presentation.
According to Abd El-Shakour, each year the team selects a new system to design and implement in order to learn various systems and technologies. Meanwhile, the team’s ultimate goal is to create a car that is fully designed and manufactured in Egypt by the students of Ain Shams University.
“Throughout the four year journey we have evolved in the design process reaching the most complicated systems of car dynamics such as the Engine control unit. Also expanding our knowledge and research to include new material and composite manufacturing making the first and only carbon fibre rim ever here in Egypt,” explained Abd El-Shakour.
This never-preceded title is a small addition to their endless list of achievements including best mechanical engineering project in Egyptian Engineering Day in 2014, 1st place winner in Egypt Science Faire organized by Nabd in 2014, 68th place in FSUK Class one in 2014, 10th place in cost and sustainability reports in FSUK in 2014, Best Engineering project in Sultan Qabus Engineering Meet up in 2014, 1st Egyptian team to participate in Shell Eco-Marathon Asia, 3rd place in Shell Energy Student Challenge in 2014, plus many more.
The team is set to participate in FSUK for the fifth time with an ICE car and in Class 2 with an electric car. They are also preparing to participate in Shell Eco Marathon Asia and Europe in addition to The Global Hybrid Electric Challenge in Sharm El-Sheihk.
ASRT is currently gearing up for the New Year as they are recruiting for 2016’s patch. “We are looking for the best candidates; people who are passionate and willing to push their limits and go the extra mile and follow the lead of those who preceded them as well as pass the knowledge to those who will come after them,” Abd El-Shakour concluded.