Team UMAKIT won two awards at the 2020 Europe Off-Tracks for Technical Innovation and Circular Economy with their innovative in-wheel suspension system and use of waste materials as a resource for their vehicle.

About the Technical Innovation Award

Sponsored by Southwest Research Institute, the Off-Track Award for Technical Innovation recognises outstanding technical ingenuity along with optimal use of new materials, components and inventions in their drive train, chassis, body, instrumentation and tires.

About the Circular Economy Award

The phrase ‘circular economy’ refers to the continual use of resources and eliminating waste. This award recognises teams who employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling in their vehicle design, while minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The judges are most interested in how their submission relates to the Shell Eco-marathon competition and the potential it has for “real world” application.

What they achieved

Team UMAKIT has a broad understanding and passion for the key concepts behind circular economy and frequently analyses future trends of electric vehicles. The team applied a strong focus on the idea of using waste materials as a resource throughout the process, deciding to collect and reprocess waste plastic as material for the vehicle’s 3D printed parts. They applied further circular economy thinking by redesigning the vehicle’s circulation system to reuse hydrogen fuel waste.

While using circular economy concepts in the design and build of the vehicle was integral to winning this award, Team UMAKIT also needed a vehicle that ran efficiently. So, they created an innovative in-wheel suspension system to revamp vehicle dynamics, allowing for the elimination of traditional suspension components. This significant design concept not only reduced mass, but also increased the overall efficiency of the vehicle, ultimately leading to them to securing the award for Technical Innovation.

The team ran an incredible operation and promoted their journey by some inspiring video content which they created for YouTube and Instagram.

Why the judges believed they deserve to win?

"The team developed an innovative in-wheel suspension system that improved vehicle dynamics and allowed the elimination of traditional suspension components. This enabled significant mass reduction that led to an increase in vehicle efficiency."

Lead Judge: Steve Marty, VP Fuels and Lubricants Research, Southwest Research Institute

We were impressed with this team’s understanding of circular economy. They had a strong focus on using waste as resources whilst considering the role of common platforms across vehicles with a modular design for extending life; and even thought about a design for the re-use of system components.

Lead Judge: Richard Taylor, Global Technical Development Manager, Shell

Learn more about the winning team

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