Nanyang Venture VI

Nanyang Venture VI Team photo


In 2012, NTU Diesel Car Racing Team built a Diesel powered car for the annual Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2014 competition that was held from February 6th to 9th 2014 in Manila, Philippines. The car was given the name “Nanyang Venture 6” as it is the sixth car in the series built in the Innovation@MAE lab. The entire vehicle body and chassis is made in-house by student members of the team using a combination of mahogany, pine and marine plywood. Many plywood strips were carefully bonded individually to complete the outer body shell of the car.

Message from Dr. Francis Malcolm John Nickols, Team Mentor

The car derives its impact from the great deal of detailed and careful thought that went into its design and construction. Students were presented with a real world engineering challenge to design and build an automobile that solves a difficult fuel efficiency problem. The team was exposed to problems that encompassed many areas of engineering such as, manufacturing techniques, material selection, engineering structures, mechanics, kinematics, electronics, real time software, logistics, engine efficiency, human factors, control and stability. Extreme effort was taken in the construction of the lightweight, stiff and strong double curvature wooden body shell and chassis. The students worked with extraordinary diligence and patience, driven by their engineering passion, to produce high quality in all their work practices. Furthermore, many innovative and ingenious solutions were formulated by the team members in response to the challenging problems encountered in the production of the car. Not only did the car serve as an ideal teaching and learning platform for young engineers, it also developed the character and integrity of the team members. The reward for the team’s effort was an engineering product that they can be proud of and that provides leadership for future students at NTU and the community at large.

The world is more competitive than it has ever been and this competitiveness is driving academic institutions towards producing young engineers that can respond to producing innovative and cost-effective solutions to extremely pressing concerns in our society such as energy and energy efficiency. As such, never has there been a more demanding need for the education of the “Master Engineer” who is able to master practical, scientific and business skills that are vital for today’s professional engineer.

The Diesel Powered Wooden automobile with real-time precision instrumentation is a project that aims to do just that, by attracting the cream of young engineers and then honing their skills into producing Master Engineers. NTU cannot rest on its laurels since there are many other elite academic institutions luring top young engineers and some of these institutions are on our doorstep in Singapore itself. The Diesel Car NV6, due to its high quality engineering content, its attention to detail and its ingenuity together with its striking good looks, brought about by form following function, brings prestige, honour and recognition to NTU thus helping to keep NTU in the vanguard of engineering education.

Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2014

Nanyang Venture VI Team photo at Shell Eco-marathon

NTU’s newest eco-car, Nanyang Venture VI, nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder” as it was hand-built by students from wood, achieved an impressive 338 kilometres per litre for its fuel efficiency. It also beat over 100 other international entries to win the Award in Vehicle Design and Award for Safety. This is the fourth time NTU has won the Award for Safety in the competition. The judges observed that safety was built at the core of NTU’s wooden diesel car, which had impressive risk assessment studies and was built through clever use of materials. Its key safety feature include a frame made from laser-cut strips of wood, which would absorb energy in case of impact and was designed to break up into small parts instead of fragmenting into large and dangerous shards. The Nanyang Venture VI team was also lauded for their exceptional safety practices in their garage by maintaining a very orderly work environment free from avoidable hazards.

Mr Sheral Crescent, 23, who worked on Nanyang Venture VI as his Final Year Project last year, said the team started building the wooden diesel car in 2012. “Using wood was a new challenge to all of us, so we are very grateful to our team mentor, Dr. Francis Nickols, who trained us in the techniques of wood working. With top quality craftsmanship driving our ambition, we went on to build the entire car with our hands, producing a work of art that was driven on the streets of Manila,” said Sheral who graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2013. “In Manila, our car attracted the most attention from public visitors, media, fellow competitors and the off-track awards jury. We got feedback on how they were amazed at the beautiful fusion of art, aesthetics and engineering innovation embodied by Nanyang Venture VI. Friendships were forged, knowledge was shared and the spirit of engineering came alive,” he added.

Car Specifications

Nanyang Venture VI car

Top speed

75 km/h

Height X Width X Length

815 mm X 996 mm X 3500 mm

Engine type

Air cooled, 4 cycles vertical cyclinder

Fuel type


Drag coefficient


Drag area

0.0087 m^2 (2sf)

Brake System



Michelin 44-406

Clutch system



Pine wood

Shell body

Marine plywood




Dog clutch transmission

Drive train

Direct chain driven

Steering system

Negative camber (1.77 degrees)

Electronic System

Fly-by-wire system where the engine-throttle position is controlled using an electronic servo rather than a push-pull cable.
Speed and Acceleration measurement for both wheels and engine, using optical encoders.
10 Hz sampling frequency for accurate acquisition.
Real time GPS acquisition
Engine temperature and different sensors around the engine
Interactive human interface monitored from the steering wheel
Data logging on SD card
Matlab application for data analysis and “Drag forces” modelling

Team Members


Assoc Professor Ng Heong WahAssoc Professor Ng Heong Wah
Dr. Francis Malcolm John NickolsDr. Francis Malcolm John Nickols

Student members

Mihindukulasooriya Sheral Crescent Tissera

Mihindukulasooriya Sheral
Crescent Tissera

Tinagaran Puvanasan Mechanical Engineering Year 2

Tinagaran Puvanasan

Lim Weison Mechanical Engineering Year 2

Lim Weison

Benjamin Ng

Benjamin Ng

Kam Senhao

Kam Senhao

Chua Yek Guo

Chua Yek Guo

Kelvin Lee

Kelvin Lee

Jun Wen

Jun Wen

Noel Lee

Noel Lee

Zhang Jiehuang

Zhang Jiehuang

Amjad El Hilali

Amjad El Hilali

Florian Mayer

Florian Mayer

Parinda Bhathiya Bhathiya Tammita Kumarasiri

Parinda Bhathiya
Bhathiya Tammita

Ilmi B AB Wahab

Ilmi B AB Wahab

Mohammad Faiz Bin Mohammad Zulkifli

Mohammad Faiz Bin
Mohammad Zulkifli

Ho Mun Onn Joel

Ho Mun Onn Joel

Sun Weiyang

Sun Weiyang

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