| Nazurah Noor |
TWENTY Bruneian students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Mechanical Training Centre (PLM), have made good progress ever since landing in Manila for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2015 (SEMA).
According to Zulfadli bin Haji Mat Zahari, Team Manager for PLM Alpha 7, “Over the last few days, we have been unpacking our vehicle cargo, connecting wires, checking the car, and keeping them neat and tidy. As we were placing stickers on our cars, we felt especially proud when sticking the Brunei flag, because it lets the world know that Brunei is being represented at this international competition.”
The Brunei students joined the other teams Wednesday at Tent City, Manila Hotel, for team registration and a mandatory health, safety, and security briefing. They were also given a tour at the competition area in Luneta Park.
Once granted garage access at the paddocks, the Bruneian team can make preparations and modifications to their cars again for technical inspection because teams are required to pass the inspections to be able to compete on race day. The inspection includes visibility, safety belt and dimensions tests. They are then given five attempts to complete 10 laps on the track within a time limit of 29 minutes. Should the driver break any of the rules, one of the given attempts will then be invalidated.
Mohd Khairul Zhafri bin Haji Mohd Noor, a member of UBD’s GenNext Pejuang, spoke about the hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle, dubbed ‘Nakhoda’, “This is the first time that Brunei is sending a team for the Hydrogen Fuel Cell category. In previous years, this category has been dominated by Malaysia. Although Malaysia has had a five-year head start in SEMA’s hydrogen fuel cell research, we are fast learners and are confident that we can put up a good fight. This year, only our team is competing against Malaysia in this category.”
Irza Tuah, also from UBD’s GenNext Pejuang, spoke about her first-ever experience joining SEMA, “These first two days, I have been very excited and nervous. It’s great to see a lot of smart and innovative engineers and scientists out here and we are going to show that Brunei can compete with the very best in Asia.”