NUI Galway Celebrates European Innovation Award for the Galway Energy-Efficient Car

Pictured centre, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh with the Geec student and staff team members, and sponsors from Belcross Enterprises and Shell E&P Ireland.
Dec 04 2018 Posted: 15:16 GMT

NUI Galway students and staff recently gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Galway Energy-Efficient Car (the Geec) and in particular to mark its Technical Innovation Award win at SEM Europe 2018.

For five years running, the Geec has offered a vision of cleaner transport, and it is now established in the international top tier for energy-saving motoring. The car is designed, built and tested by NUI Galway students from Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic, Electronic and Computer, and Energy Systems Engineering. Engineering students develop the car as part of their engineering studies, and also devote considerable free time to their creation. Every year since 2015 they have competed in Shell Eco-marathon Europe, where cars race for efficiency rather than speed.

The students have improved the design of the three-wheeled electric car year on year. In 2017, the Geec achieved an energy score of 354 kilometres per kilowatt-hour over a 10-lap, 16 kilometre circuit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. This is equivalent to around 10,500 miles per gallon of diesel, or driving from Galway to Dublin for 12 cents, and ranked the NUI Galway team 13th out of 41 competitors. The success didn’t stop there - at SEM Europe 2018, the Geec won the Technical Innovation Award for the unique design of a bodywork feature that covers the wheels, and moves as the car steers, streamlining the car and decreasing air resistance substantially.

This year, the team hopes to progress even further. A new team is working on a lighter chassis, upgraded electronics, and fine-tuned drivetrain for the 2019 car, mentored by lecturers in the College of Engineering and Informatics, and supported by the engineering technical staff.

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, congratulated all involved, past and present. “This is a great team of students! Our University is proud to have such motivated and dedicated students, whose accomplishments over the past five years have showcased NUI Galway’s internationally-competitive capacities in engineering and our impact in environmental technologies in the world and for the world.  Their talent and ingenuity has been reflected in their success this summer at Shell Eco-marathon Europe and we look forward to further success in the years ahead. With climate change now one of the most pressing challenges facing our planet, the work of finding new energy-efficient transport strategies becomes ever-more important. This is an example of how universities foster the knowledge and talent which can transform our world. Congratulations to our students, supported by the University’s academic, technical and support staff in the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Geec’s industry partners for their pioneering work with the Galway Energy-Efficient Car.”

The Geec was sponsored in 2017 and 2018 by the Tony Ryan Trust through Galway University Foundation, Shell E&P Ireland, Jaguar Land Rover, ÉireComposites, MaREI, Blackstone Launchpad, MBW Bike Shop, CADFEM UK & Ireland, Mathworks,, Tocana Plastics, Molex, EasyComposites, and Irish Ferries.

Check out for more details on one of Ireland’s greatest green innovations.


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