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UH students will compete against universities across the Americas — including Canada, Brazil and Mexico — to create energy-efficient cars from inception to completion as part of the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas from April 25 to 27 at Discovery Green.

The four teams from UH, which come from the Cullen College of Engineering and College of Technology, developed their projects, raised their own funding and designed their own concepts.

“The teams are expected to raise the money, design the car, analyze the car and build it; these students are pioneers at many levels,” said Raresh Pascali, a mechanical engineering professor and faculty advisor to The Dream Team.

The Dream Team consists of seniors Ryan Haire, Alexus Romero and Alex Geoca.

Their mission is to design, build and test one of the first gas-to-liquid fuel cars in America.

The competition is divided into two divisions: a prototype class is focused on car and travel efficiency, and a second class is the urban concept that focuses on practical car designs.

The second team is Team Primer, which consists of 12 mechanical engineering undergraduates. Theirs is a battery-powered vehicle made of carbon fire.

One of the graduating seniors, Ryan Hannerman, is currently working on the vehicle as his senior capstone project.

“There’s a ton of everything we use from our engineering skills, and we apply every aspect of our courses we learned to solve problems when there isn’t a step-by-step solution,” Hannerman said.

During the competition, students are expected to travel as far as their model car will go within 15 to 30 miles per hour on one liter of fuel.

“The students will be expected to pass multiple inspections, such as maneuvering and safety, but this is not a speed race,” Pascali said.

Professor Richard Bennerot understands the requirements students must meet in order to compete.

“The main thing they get is no sleep, but they built this car from scratch, and it is very sophisticated,” Bennerot said.

Each team produced and created a website that gives in-depth information about who they are, their progress and contact information. For more information, click here.

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