The Heriot-Watt Racing Team Unveils its First Road-ready Electric Vehicle Prototype

The Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Racing Team (HWUMRT), comprising students from the University, recently launched its first road-ready electric vehicle prototype.

In 2019, when the University received a single-passenger car prototype from Universiti Malaya (UM), a group of students who are also car enthusiasts decided to start the HWUMRT.

The initial team then made the decision to enlist more students to participate in their extracurricular activity of studying the donated car during the academic year 2019/2020.

Due to the project’s excellent learning potential, it was added to the University’s Mechanical Engineering curriculum, under the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) beginning with the 2020–2021 academic year. The School uses a project-based learning approach, through the racing car project, to help students reach their full potential by pushing themselves and putting their knowledge to use for the project.

Each year, the project encourages participation from about 20 students from different schools, including EPS, Actuarial Science, and Quantity Surveying.
The newly launched electric vehicle prototype is the culmination of multiple revisions including engineering design and manufacturing improvements.

Built by the University’s Mechanical Engineering curriculum, under the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences – Pix Provided

New Racing Team Members

The project also involved the mentoring of new incoming HWUMRT members.
In addition, the prototype encourages the use of clean sources of energy for zero carbon emissions, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Additionally, it was developed to lessen noise pollution.

During the launch, HWUM Deputy Provost Professor Dennis Wong says, “At HWUM, we empower our students to apply approaches they learn in the classroom to meet real-world demands. The successful car prototype requires students to use practical learning that goes beyond engineering and technical knowledge, as well as skills in project management, finance, branding, and human resource management, with a focus on sustainability.”

“These non-technical skills are essential in the 21st century and this learning activity is an example of how the University prepares our graduates for the workforce,” added Professor Dennis.

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Assistant Professor Riady Siswoyo Jo, the chairman of the organising committee for the Heriot-Watt Racing Car Launch, added that student involvement in the project is a great training opportunity for them to develop their team management skills by working with various stakeholders to present a technical product that is relatable and beneficial to the public.

Learning Experience

Dexter Liaw, a project engineer and a Mechanical Engineering alumnus of the University and former leader of the racing team, returned to his alma mater to deliver his testimony during the event and shared how the learning experience managing the team has helped him in his engineering occupation in technical and non-technical areas.

Bryan Tan and Eddie Chung, both final-year Mechanical Engineering students at the University and senior members of HWUMRT, shared their testimonies on how HWUMRT welcomes students from various backgrounds as the endeavour of developing a car prototype goes beyond the prototype itself and requires talent who are capable of managing the branding, human resources, project management, and much more.

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