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SOLIDWORKS and Shell Eco-marathon


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SmartPower Team working on vehicle designs
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SOLIDWORKS is a global technology company that provides an array of intuitive 3D design, simulation, manufacturing, and data management solutions that transform ideas into great products.

From shoes to mega-yachts, and everything in between, SOLIDWORKS products and services are used regularly by engineers and designers across dozens of industries. 

We caught up with Sara Junghans and Brian Hillner to discuss their involvement in Shell Eco-marathon... 

Hi guys, tell us a bit more about your relationship with Shell Eco-marathon. 

Sara: Our primary goal is to help students be successful. We want to help prepare them for their future careers, so that they are ready to jump right into industry and work. We help them increase their skills to gain the experience, and qualifications to use SOLIDWORKS effectively in whatever career they choose. 

Student teams can apply for sponsorship, where we provide free softwares and show them the resources to get SOLIDWORKS certified. We often visit teams during their competitions and get to know them and try to find out the technological challenges they are facing.

What is the most satisfying thing about being involved with the programme? 

Sara: The students really like our products. They use our products at school, and when they see us at events with our SOLIDWORKS shirts on they stop us to talk about the product which is very satisfying. And it’s nice to make the connection physically with them.

We want to make sure the students understand the great product resources that are available to them. Getting the opportunity to talk with them face to face is so valuable. Sometimes students aren’t aware that our sponsorship includes 12 of our premium products and more; for example, SOLIDWORKS Simulation is an incredible resource that would be useful to all teams. We really want to try to educate them and make sure they have access to these products that will help them build a better vehicle. 

Two student teams we had real success with were Team Zero C from ITIS "Leonardo Da Vinci" Carpi in Italy and Smart Power Team from Silesian University of Technology in Poland.

Team Zero C used our technology to simulate air flow, to find the smallest, lightest design for the shape of the shell of their car. 


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ITIS "Leonardo Da Vinci" Carpi - The Shell Eco-Marathon Project with SOLIDWORKS


Stefano Covezzi (00:16):

I am Stefano Covezzi. I teach mechanics at the Institute, and I am the coordinator of the Eco-Marathon project.

Stefano Covezzi (00:27):

The realization of our vehicle starts in this workshop. The real improvement for us is to use SOLIDWORKS.

Matteo Tarabini (00:37):

I am a member of this school and the Team Manager of Team Zero C. We compete with our school-built electric prototype in Shell Eco-Marathon, an international race that challenges schools around the globe to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicles. This activity is a real opportunity for us to practice all the notions we've learned in school courses.

Valentina Consolandi (00:58):

In our team, we make sure that everyone knows the tasks required to design a component. So how we here, we set up a design course for all kids to learn the basics of [inaudible 00:01:09] in order to prepare them to work more independently.

Valentina Consolandi (01:13):

For me, it was really helpful to begin understanding what's going on inside the car and how I could improve the already existing parts.

Enrico Bigarelli (01:23):

From a student point of view, SOLIDWORKS represent a great opportunity to step in the world of design. It's user friendly, although it has lots of advanced features that make it a very valuable mechanical engineering and educational software.

Matteo Tarabini (01:38):

Our competition is one of a kind. We always remember that the winner is not the fastest, but the most energy-efficient. So we want our vehicle to be the smallest, lightest, the smoothest-running possible.

Gioele Goldoni (01:51):

We defined the shape of the car thanks to the [CFD 00:01:55] feature in SOLIDWORKS. We started from an initial concept shape that was optimized to find the best fit around the driver's body, and at the same time to minimize the aerodynamic drag, which is one of the factor that make us lose energy.

Emanuele Marconi (02:12):

We always have to keep in mind that as far as it may seem to go slow, it's still a race car, so it has to be stiff and solid enough to withstand the forces that act on the structure during the race. So we took advantage from SOLIDWORKS [FEA 00:02:25] analysis tools. We simulated our working condition, and we made sure everything was correctly shaped and fully operational.

Franco Bonaccini (02:34):

It's really gratifying for us to see how the students are able to design and virtually test many parts of the project.

Matteo Tarabini (02:46):

We're constantly raising the bar of innovation, pushing forward to a continuous improvement, both on personal and professional side, because we are competing against the best universities in the world. And we eventually won in 2017.

Matteo Tarabini (02:59):

We have the strongest motivation, the best tools for design and the maximum support from our sponsors, especially from Nuovamacut. There's nothing more we could ask for.

Enrico Bigarelli (03:09):

As I want to be an engineer, I know for sure that in my field, I will have to work with some kind of 3D modeling tools, and I'll know that I'm prepared for that.

Smart Power used our technology to conduct complex strength simulations using FEA.


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SmartPower Team video - EDU customer testimonial - VAR - SOLIDWORKS




We are members of student Scientific Association of Modeling Machine Design


which is one of the largest associations at the Silesian University of Technology.


As part of our activity, we as students have the opportunity to develop our skills


in the design of various types of environmentally friendly vehicles.


The main project implemented by the associaton is the Smart Power Team.


As part of this project, students build and design vehicles powered by alternative energy sources.


Vehicles built by our team participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon competition.


We received high standings in Poland for energy-saving driving, for instance


in the categories of Prototype Electric and Urban Concept Hydrogen.


At Shell-Eco Marathon, we won 1st place in France and 2nd place in London.


We are currently working on a MuSHELLka car.


It is a car that starts in the prototype class with battery-powered electric drive.


In addition, we are also working on a Hydrogenus vehicle which participate in Urban Concept category.


It is hydrogen powered. And the smallest of our cars - the hybrid driven HyBat.


Thanks to cooperation with SOLIDEXPERT we have the opportunity to work on the best in market CAD / CAM software, SOLIDWORKS.


In addition, we can also perform complex strength simulations using the finite element analysis method


using SOLIDWORKS Simulation.


If the design meets our requirements, we can proceed to the simulation phase of its production using SOLIDWORKS CAM.


It helps us simulate the the performance of given elements on numerically controlled machine tools.


The final stage of the desig process is the drawing documentation


as well as graphic visualization of our cars and their elements


with the help of SOLIDWORKS Visualize.


Young, talented, ambitious


these are the students participating in the Smart Power project.


For SOLIDEXPERT, supporting people with passion is pure pleasure.


We have been cooperating with the Scientific Association of Modeling Machine Design


for 3 three seasons, constantly observing their successes.


They use the software provided as part of the SOLIDWORKS Student Sponsorship program.


In addition, they can increase their knowledge thanks to our trainings.


Such activities are aimed at providing tools and substantive knowledge


that will allow young engineers to implement and develop their projects as best as possible.

Brian: Since getting involved with the Shell Eco-marathon competition in 2015, SOLIDWORKS has sponsored 137 teams, and worked directly with over 3,000 students. It’s great that we can inspire so many passionate students with our technology. 

What are your Shell Eco-marathon highlights?

Brian: Seeing the students' technical skills and abilities, when I walk around and talk to them, I’m blown away by the depth with which they are using our products. 

When I go through the teams, I’m so impressed at how they familiarise themselves with all aspects of the SOLIDWORKS products beyond SOLIDWORKS CAD even – Visualize, Electrical, and especially Simulation. Sometimes I see student teams using advanced features that only our best commercial customers have implemented into their design process.

That’s the coolest thing that I take away when I attend these events, it’s so rewarding.

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