LA Tech Students Aim to Defend and Surpass Fuel Efficiency Record of 646.7 MPG

The Shell Eco-marathon is an annual event that challenges student teams to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles. This year the Americas version is taking place March 29th-April 1st, 2012 in Houston, Texas.

This year more than 1,000 high school and college students will participate in the competition – and Louisiana Tech students are hoping to bring home the top prize.

The LA Tech team is competing in the “UrbanConcept/Diesel” competition with a vehicle called, “HotRod,” and in the “Prototype/Gasoline” area with the one and only, “Thunderdawg.” The team members include:

  • Cody Parsley, Team Manager, Driver
  • Jane Petrus, Faculty
  • Amelia Warner, Member
  • Ryan Gilbert, Member
  • Seth Anderson, Member
  • Morgan McGough, Member
  • Marty Pruden, Member
  • Dennis Dufrene, Reserve Driver
  • Eric Latino, Reserve Driver

LATech student Joe Nealy on the track at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2011. Photo courtesy of LATech.

Last year’s LA Tech team set the U.S. record of 646.7 miles per gallon with their Urban Concept vehicle, “Roadster,” and won first place for overall design and safety. Dr. Heath Tims, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and a faculty advisor said, “The team is excited to defend their title as well as introduce two new vehicles to the competition this year.”

Cash prizes are awarded for eco design, safety, technical innovation and best team spirit. Follow along during the event on the Shell Eco-Marathon twitter account: @shell_ecomar or learn more about the event here.