Tech Eco-Car team finishes fifth at international race

May 16, 2024 | Engineering and Science, Students

Securing a top-five finish on a famous raceway isn’t the type of thing you’d expect to read on an engineer’s resume. Yet, for Dawson Perkins and the rest of Louisiana Tech University’s Eco-Car team, this remarkable achievement at the 2024 Shell Eco-marathon Americas highlights engineering skills, leadership, and perseverance, setting them apart on the international stage.

The Shell Eco-marathon Americas is an international competition that inspires young engineers to get their hands dirty building more efficient cars in a fun and competitive atmosphere. Held this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the event showcased the pinnacle of automotive design and efficiency from teams across North America.

Celebrating over 14 years of innovation in environmentally friendly automotive engineering and sleek design, Louisiana Tech has been a constant presence at the Eco-marathon, netting multiple wins over its history before hitting a lull during the COVID era. This year, under Perkins’ leadership, the team returned to form, demonstrating exceptional teamwork and strategic acumen, by redesigning the car to get an impressive 350 miles per gallon (mpg).

Perkins, a member of the team since his freshman year, expressed his pride about their accomplishment.

“This car simply needed a little extra work to be what it deserved to be. We’re satisfied with what this car and its drivetrain achieved,” he said.

The Bulldogs’ formidable engineering prowess is evident in their competitive performance, with Penn State barely leading by a mere 7 mpg.

Dr. Heath Tims, associate dean of undergraduate studies for the College of Engineering and Science and team advisor, stated, “The car was very consistent and performed well, which is a direct reflection of the team and the work they put into building and preparing for this competition.”

If this year is any indication, there is still gas left in this team’s tank for future success. Stay updated and join the excitement by following the team on Instagram (@latechecocar).