“Automobile Engineering and AUST: Past, Present and Future” was held on September 16 at Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology. Organised by the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, the seminar showcased the success of their students in various international competitions and discussed career opportunities on this sector in Bangladesh.
It is the dream of most petrolheads to build a car of their own. However the sheer complexity and cost involved in such a endeavour means that very few actually manages to fulfil it. This situation is even worse in Bangladesh where the lack of industry and government policy that still penalises people for wanting their own personal vehicle.
However, despite all obstacles, the students of the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering (MEP) at Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology (AUST) have not only managed to make their own vehicles, they have taken them to compete in various international competitions.
Their first was in 2015, when AUST team “Abhijatrik” and their car participated in the Shell Eco Marathon, making them the first team from Bangladesh to participate in such a event.
More success came in 2017’s Eco Marathon, when the team "RED-X" car placed 9th in Urban Concept (gasoline) and 19th in Urban Project (ICE) category. In that same year the team “Swapnojan” car won the ISIE Future Award in the Student Formula Hybrid Competition.
Using the lessons learned from the previous year, “Red-X” developed a new car and entered it in the next year’s Eco Marathon. The new car was a huge success, placing 2nd Urban Concept (gasoline) placing 3rd in the entire Urban Concept category
This year, team “Primus” entered the Formula Student UK event, where they were awarded the Allan Stainforth Award for Best Newcomer and another for Race Tech’s Spirit of Formula Student 2019 .
”There had been many hardships, one of the most notable was procuring an engine for our car,” said Antony Bodhan Biswas, team leader of Primus. “The competition we entered had a maximum engine displacement limit of 700cc. Initially, we considered using an engine from Tata Nano but that proved to be too heavy, so we had to import a Benelli 600cc motorcycle engine from India,” he said. “It took months for us to get permission from the government and get someone to bring the engine here.”
“Making the engine work with our design was another challenge as we had to design and build our own custom differential to make sure the engine provided power to both rear wheels evenly,” Biswas continued.
”Right now the main issue for us is the lack of funding,” said Aniruddha Saha, a MEP student and a volunteer working with team “Primus”. “It is hard for us to get sponsors and the sponsors we get are generally not enough.”
”For example, we had to forgo the use of Carbon Fibre in our car as that would be to expensive,” Aniruddha said. “We also could not align our wheels properly. If we had the proper sponsors we could have made our car much better.”
Despite all issues however, the brilliant minds at AUST are working on the a new car to enter into the next year’s Eco Marathon with another new team working on a hybrid concept car.
Photos: Farhan Ahmed