Fifteen students from the University of Derby’s BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree course have had their design for a one-person, electric battery powered car selected – from around 900 original entries internationally – for the Urban Concept category of the 2013 Shell Eco-marathon Europe contest.

They are now looking for sponsorship to turn their design into a real vehicle to take part in the contest’s next stage, an energy efficiency race, to be held in Rotterdam from 15th to 19th May. The contest is sponsored by Shell, the global group of energy and petrochemicals companies.

Dr Dani Harmanto, Programme Leader for the University’s BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, and BEng (Hons) Manufacturing and Production Engineering, courses, said: “The students have done well just to get their design for the electric vehicle accepted, considering the incredible number of entries that the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe contest attracted.

“The next stage is to go to Rotterdam and prove the vehicle on the test track, where the cars compete to see which can best complete laps of an urban road racetrack in a specified time.”

The Derby students estimate that it will cost them around £5,000 to build their vehicle and take it to Rotterdam, and are looking for sponsorship or assistance. Around 200 competitor teams Europe-wide have been given the opportunity to take part in the test track phase of Shell’s competition.

Companies or individuals wishing to help the Derby team with sponsorship can contact Dr Harmanto direct on T: 01332 593206 or email: