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FUPRE unveils prototype Nigerian car




BARELY five months after the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State, inaugurated a team of engineering students from the university to build a sizeable energy-efficient car to compete in the 2015 Shell Eco-Marathon race in South Africa in October, the prototype car is ready and was test-run at the university last week Thursday amidst fanfare.

Christened “Delta Cruz”, the car’s unveiling at the university attracted several captains of industry, bank executives, local community leaders including the traditional ruler if Uvwie kingdom, HRM Emmanuel Ekemejewan Sideso, Abe 1.

In May, the Vice Chancellor of FUPRE, Prof Akii Ibhadode, inaugurated the FUPRE-Shell Eco-Marathon Team comprising technically oriented students and professional staff drawn from Mechanical Engineering and Electrical/Electronic Departments of the College of Technology, alongside some corps members now serving in the university, who were part of similar works at the University of Benin in the past, to lend technical support to the project.

The team was mandated to “produce a prototype vehicle/go cart for the 2015 South Africa Shell ECO-Marathon and to produce Shell ECO-Marathon and/or Formula vehicles/go-carts for national and international competitions.”

During the unveiling, the team tested the car’s safety capabilities including braking efficiency, manoeuvrability and road worthiness, which the prototype passed successfully.

The Vice-Chancellor, lauded the team for producing an engineering-efficient and environmentally-friendly car within the time frame given. He said the car project was “the start of a new beginning” in the university which would boost the image of FUPRE as a centre for academic excellence and technological innovation being the first petroleum university in Africa.

Several guests who witnessed the unveiling donated and made pledges of support towards the project. Maj Gen. Osio Obada (rtd), from neighbouring Agbaro community, was particularly impressed with the project that he donated N1,000,000 to get it to the next level.

On his part, the royal father of the day, Ovie of Uvwie, Abe 1, said the future is bright in the kingdom with what he had seen so far. He hoped for the day when FUPRE would compete with some of the best universities in the world like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale. He said the team of engineers who built the car would achieve more with the right support from the university management. The monarch thus charged the team not to rest on its oars but to lead the way towards Nigeria’s technological development.

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