In special ceremony witnessed by an enthusiastic crowd of staff members,
students and invited guests, the Federal University of Petroleum
Resources (FUPRE) unveiled a Nigerian-made race car built under the
Shell energy-efficient prototype category, christened Delta Crux 001 on
Thursday 17th of September, 2015.

The SHELL Eco-Marathon
Prototype Race Car manufactured by a team of FUPRE Engineering students
drawn from both Mechanical and Electrical/Electronic Engineering
Departments was designed to participate in the SHELL Eco-Marathon Race
competition holding from 2nd to 4thOctober, 2015 in Johannesburg, South
Africa.

The Vice-Chancellor Prof. Akii Ibhadode in an address at
the unveiling of the car reaffirmed the readiness of the team to
participate in the competition having perfected all stages of the
competition and passed the technical aspects on the very first entry. 
He also promised that the team would be trained for another Shell
competition billed to take place in 2016.

Taking the audience
through a memory lane, Prof. Akii Ibhadode observed that “the
competition started in 1937 by young Shell Engineers who challenged
themselves on who could design a car to run the farthest distance with
little amount of fuel, stressing that from that little beginning it has
evolved into a corporate event, and a concept that has translated to an
annual competition since 1985.

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed
that the competition took place first in 2013 in Africa when certain
select universities with the potential were asked to build
energy-efficient vehicles which were in two categories and are of two
types: the Prototype and the Urban Concert Vehicles. He also revealed
that the University of Benin team won the Most Innovative Car Designer
Award of the competition in South Africa last year under his mentorship.
He
also promised to work towards producing a vehicle that is one hundred
percent made of locally available materials even as he challenged the
team to design a light weight utility vehicle suitable for farming by
small scale entrepreneurs.According to him, the competition challenges
young Engineering students to produce fuel-efficient vehicles with
little amount of fuel and that the awards are usually given to the best
participating teams.

Speaking during the occasion, Uvwie Monarch,
HRM Emmanuel Sideso, OON, JP, Abe 1, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom stated
that “today is a great day for Uvwie kingdom. We thank God that the
University that started 8 years ago is now making waves across the
world. He noted that his strongest passion is education and expressed
joy that “the university started quite well and since inception the
students have always made us proud”. He further stated that “with the
Prof. Akii Ibhadode coming on board to build on the foundation that has
been laid, the sky would be the limit for FUPRE and its students.”

While
pledging his commitment to the development of the University, the
monarch said “We will continue to support you as best as we can. You can
see that the whole of Uvwie is here to support you.” He however
admonished all FUPRE students not to be involved in cult activities or
examination malpractices and to set the pace for higher altitude, the
Ovie noted that he wants FUPRE students to compete with Oxford and
Cambridge. In his words “Let Fupre become the modern Cambridge”.

Also
delivering his speech, the team leader, Ewrhudjakpor Efemena an
Electrical/ Electronics Engineering Student of FUPRE’S College of
Technology, stated that “after we were inuagurated to build the
FUPRE-SHELL Eco-Marathon prototype car, we had to embark on the required
basic training and engaged in imaginative and constructive thinking,
noting that “the car has been designed based on the Shell Eco-Marathon
research rules” and revealed that they are fully prepared to feature in
the competition established for students to invent fuel-efficient cars.
According to him the car’s dimension is 110 by 90 by 275 centimeters and
80 percent built with locally made materials with the exception of its
tires and engine.

“We have been able to build this car to compete
on 2nd to 4th October in South Africa. He however appealed to all
dignitaries present for financial support such that contrary to the
assumption that African is a dumping ground for foreign made cars, we
have built this car to prove the world wrong that we can build. He
concluded by saying that the car was built for excellence and
relevance.“We are seeking for support for the sponsorship of the
competition because we are not just doing it for FUPRE but for the
country,” he added.

Gen. O. E. Obada, who chaired the event,
observed that the last time he was in FUPRE was to commission a vehicle
that was made for a Department in the College of Science, but
fortunately he has come to an event to support the University for
manufacturing its own car. He however promised that the car would get to
South Africa and the team would win the competition.

Speaking on
behalf of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Precious Okolobo
observed that “we have come a long way with Prof. Akii Ibhadode. We were
together at Rotterdam and he inspired us” and promised to give adequate
support to the FUPRE Project.

Some other special attractions
during the event was an opportunity for researchers from different
fields of learning to exhibited their research and innovations and
engineering designs targeted towards providing creative and innovative
professional solutions to the problems of the oil and gas sector of the
economy.

The occasion climaxed in a special fund-drive for the
sponsorship of the competition while the high point of the event was the
unveiling of the FUPRE-SHELL Prototype Eco-Marathon Car by HRM Emmanuel
Sideso,  OON, JP, Abe 1, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom followed by a Road
Show of the car by the FUPRE Shell Eco-Marathon Team.