Circular economy refers to the continual use of resources and eliminating waste. This award recognises teams who employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling, while minimizing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The judges are most interested in how their submission relates to the Shell Eco-marathon competition and the potential it has for “real world” application.
After much discussion and consideration of the Circular Economy Award brief, the team determined that bamboo would be an excellent, and viable, resource for the vehicle’s chassis and body.
Bamboo provides natural strength to withstand static loads, so the team hypothesized that it could also be a suitable alternative for situations involving dynamic loads. After meticulous research and testing, the team found that the solid bamboo species stocksii, which was coincidentally found in abundance in South India, would provide optimal support as a chassis material. The team’s strategic decision to use bamboo, combined with the strong execution of their idea, ultimately led them to win the award.
The biggest hurdle the team had to overcome on the road to victory was balancing the essential factors for competition success, such as maximising fuel efficiency through reduced weight and aerodynamic drag, with the need to maintain vehicular body strength for driver protection. Developing a suitable composite of bamboo and glass fibre proved challenging. However, through Team Pravega’s dedication and perseverance in trialling, testing, and inspecting various combinations, the team found a composite that fit the bill.
In addition to their commitment to thorough planning and research, a strong team dynamic and shared work ethic was integral to the overall success of Team Pravega. Although winning the Circular Economy prize was gratifying, team members said it was not their sole motivation, they were driven by incentives for "improvement of thought”, “team satisfaction”, and the reward for “effort and concentration.” In the end, the team was able to accomplish all these goals.
Learn more about the winning team