NUST students build car to race against international competitors
 June 16, 2015
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KARACHI: The engineering students of NUST University unveiled NAS15, the new student-built car, to race in the world’s biggest student motorsport event, Formula Student, 2015.

“Last year, we made it to the 52nd slot among 106 cars. This year’s target is to finish in the top 35,” said Afnan Ahmed, the team leader, in his opening speech at the unveiling ceremony of the car. The ceremony was held at Convention Hall of the Pakistan Maritime Museum on Thursday. “The car will race against 135 teams from 28 different countries at two different competitions to be held in United Kingdom and Germany later this year,” he added.

Formula Student challenges student engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. “We actually built the car in eight months starting last September,” Mahnoor Pasha, a member of the team, told The Express Tribune.

The project is being sponsored by Interactive Group, whose chief executive, Shahid Mahmud, shared his experience from the last year’s competition. “Last year, I saw teams from different European countries that had sponsorships of one million Euros,” he said. “[In contrast], our car, NAS14, cost roughly 30,000 Euros.”

According to him, it was an unfair drive. Still, NAS14 made it to 52nd slot in 106 cars. “These people [NUST students] need to be appreciated on every level in our country,” said Mahmud. He also said that the team had remained ahead of other Muslims countries and India ever since it started participating in the competition in 2012.

Technical director Ahmed Waqas also gave a presentation. Talking about NAS15′s qualities and the team’s achievements, he said that this year’s contender is 70 kilogrammes lighter in weight. “It is more stable and also smaller in size as compared to its predecessor, NAS14.”

The competition

The team comprised 25 members who are all undergraduate engineering students. The competition is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. This year’s competition will take place in Silverstone, UK, where 49 teams from UK universities will participate.

The main ‘Class 1′ competition will involve 30 electric vehicles and 80 cars with combustion engines. Teams will be from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, UK and Ukraine. Ross Brawn, the former team leader of the Mercedes Amg Petronas Formula One Team, will return as the competition patron and will meet students at the opening ceremony.

The chairperson of Formula Student, Jon Hilton, issued a statement welcoming NUST students in the competition. “I’m delighted to see teams like Interactive NUST Formula Student Team competing in Formula Student, 2015. It shows that the competition remains one of the most important learning experiences for those aiming to combine their studies with exposure to a real world engineering project.”

NUST Formula Student teams have been competing since 2012 and the alumni have progressed to Formula One, and are now working at the different automotive firms, helping design and engineer new cars.

News Source: Express Tribune

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