Team Panthera, a group of 15 women from the mechanical engineering department of Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University is all set to break the stereotypes. These budding women engineers are gearing up to represent their college in an international level competition Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2017, a competition that challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra- energy-efficient vehicles.
1.How important was this project to you all? Was it just about foreshowing your mechanical skill?
“For our team, this project is not only a platform to exhibit our technical skills and enhance our knowledge, but also a way to prove our mettle in the male-dominated field of mechanical engineering,” Manu Priya Vats the team manager of ‘Team Panthera’ said.
2. Usually, girls are not expected to know so much about mechanical stuff. Have you ever came across a similar incident?
“I had one experience where a shopkeeper said to me that I wouldn’t be able to explain what we needed and that I should instead send the boys from our college,” Aanchal Saxena, a member of the only all-girls team in Asia to compete in the upcoming Shell Eco Marathon in Singapore said.
3. What was your idea behind making this car? What is the message you are trying to propagate to others?
“A major amount of pollution comes from vehicles,” Manupriya Vats, team captain and driver for Team Panthera said. “And that’s why we thought of this car that will give very good mileage.” “Our country is still dependent on gasoline [petrol]. We aren’t into electric cars too much,” the 21-year-old Ms. Vats explained. “So we decided to take gasoline and get high mileage from it to reduce the carbon footprint.”
4. Relying on the “mechanical” ideas of girls is not too much encouraged or prevalent in this nation. So how did your sponsors acted upon the same?
“At sponsorship meetings, there were people who did not trust our ideas,” said Ms. Saxena, 19, who is in charge of publicity. “We were rejected on the basis of the fact that we are girls.”
5. How would you explain your car? What are its features?
The car, named Iris 2.0, is a single-seater, three-wheeled prototype weighing 45-50 kg with a one-foot ground clearance. Despite its 35cc engine, it touches 55 kmph and is expected to run 300 km on a liter of petrol.
6. How can we see a factor of differentiation in your car model than that of the usual cars?
“Weight plays a very big role in the increase in mileage,” Ms. Vats explained. “In the industry, usually steel and its derivatives are used to build vehicles. We are using aluminum.”
7. Even though you have succeeded in the project it must have taught you all a lesson at the end. What was the lesson you learned?
“Our experiences and problems have helped us realize how important it is to spread awareness among girls that mechanical engineering is not something that is meant only for guys,” she said.
Team Panthera’s article by Schoopwhoop.
Team Panthera’s article by HT Campus.
Team Panthera’s Facebook Page.