• 13 Jan 2014
  • Middle East

TAQA unveils university teams ahead of first hybrid-electric car race in GCC

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – TAQA, the international energy company based in Abu Dhabi, today unveiled the 2014 TAQA Hybrid-Electric Challenge teams and cars at a media event held at The Galleria mall in Abu Dhabi.TAQA is bringing the region’s first hybrid-electric car race to Abu Dhabi, for engineering students from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in coordination with its strategic partner, The Petroleum Institute (PI), a University & Research Centre. The event is founded by US-based Global EEE, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes education, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness. A total 120 men and women in 11 teams have been drawn from The Petroleum Institute; Abu Dhabi University; UAE University; Khalifa University and the Masdar Institute, all in Abu Dhabi, and the Nizwa College of Technology in Oman; the College of Technological Studies, Kuwait, and Qatar University.The Challenge will be held at Abu Dhabi’s Al Forsan racetrack on 29 – 31 January and will be hosted by The Petroleum Institute University and Research Center, supported by the Emirates Foundation.Dr Saif Al Sayari, TAQA’s Executive Officer and Head of Energy Solutions, said: “The next generation of engineers will play a critical role in developing a sustainable economy for the UAE and the region.

This event gives engineering students the opportunity to try out what they have learned in the classroom in a competitive environment. TAQA is committed to supporting young engineers from the GCC and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies.””The better you prepare students for industry, the more employers are going to come seeking your students for their graduate recruitment programmes,” said Dr Nabih Bedewi, the managing director of Global EEE.”Students tend to work in labs. They’ve never seen anything like this; an industrial process, working live. Being involved in this gives them crucial practical experience, under pressure.

Companies love to hire people with this kind of experience; experience of working together in teams, against a deadline, where they have to project manage and delegate; where they have to make sure all the processes happen in the right sequence at the right time, and to budget.”What this competition delivers is a next generation of energy efficiency-obsessed engineers. They are a gift to future employers. They know if they hire one of these people, they are going to get someone who is going to be thinking non-stop about energy efficiency, and that can only be good news.”If you demonstrate that you have taken part in one of these competitions, any employer who ranks energy efficiency high on their agenda, is going to want to talk to you. One of the biggest recruiters of our past competitors is NASA.”Dr Fahad Almaskari, Assistant Professor, PI said: “As host and co-organiser of this prestigious event and with three Petroleum Institute teams entering the challenge, we are extremely proud to be here today to launch this event with TAQA and unveil one of our own hybrid cars. We are looking forward to welcoming all of the teams to this challenge and wish all the students good luck on the race track”. One of the competitors in the race, Ruqaya Al Noammani, a student of Mechanical Engineering, at PI said: “Obviously, bringing this competition to Abu Dhabi reinforces the UAE’s image as a developed country and highlights its efforts to diversify energy resources.”But more importantly for us on the team, the competition gives us the chance to try out what we have learned in the classroom, and put it to work, as a team.”It is also an opportunity to prove that the Emirati woman is capable of achieving excellence in all fields, and to play a vital role in the development of our country.”We are all extremely eager to see the fruit of our hard work become reality, and of course, to be winners in the race!”

The teams, consisting of drivers and technicians, will race single-person, lightweight, hybrid motor cars built to stringent race design and safety rules. The teams have received car kits and are currently working in teams to engineer, build and fine-tune the vehicles for the event with the aim of developing faster and more energy efficient vehicles.- ENDS -For further information:TAQA External Communications, Abu Dhabi.

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