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Sparkle 2015

College of Engineering, Pune & KPIT Technologies Ltd.

Announce Grand Prize Contest: 'Sparkle: 2015'

With a theme 'Towards Better Mobility and Energy'

  • Total Prizes worth Rs. 20 Lakhs.
  • First Grand Team Prize: Rs. 10 Lakhs
  • Second Team Prize: Rs. 5 Lakhs
  • Prizes for up to five other Winning Teams: Rs. 1 Lakh

What is the contest about?

We live in an exciting world. Never before has there been so much emphasis put on innovation than in the present times. This emphasis will give us a major leap in the next 25 years. Of course, we have to work at it to solve our current problems for building a better tomorrow and we are counting on the young generation to solve them. This contest is to recognize your brilliance. Brilliance to solve interesting problems that we face today. Brilliance that demonstrates your enthusiasm, your energy, your vivacity or simply put ‘Sparkle’.

Progress of humanity can be charted along the progress of mobility. Mobile species have always survived, thrived, and progressed. History of mobility is also interesting. We had horse carts in the 1800’s but it created challenges. In 1898 in New York the top problem discussed in the international town planning conference was how to get rid of horse manure. We solved the challenge by creating an IC engine. However, we created new problems. Solving the mobility challenges in a clean, safe, smart, enjoyable, and in an affordable manner presents an enormous opportunity for innovation.

Our present day IC engine was designed over 125 years ago. There has not been any dramatic improvement in it. Theefficiency of energy conversion at best is around 30%. How can one improve this?

While we continue to burn fuel and waste 70% of the energy, we also produce exhaust. We inhale all sorts of exhaust gases from nitric oxide to carbon dioxide. Our travel need not be synonymous with facing pollution. What can we do to improve this situation?

We also pay heavy cost since the energy efficiency is not high. Additionally, the cost of petrol continues to rise with no end in sight. Is fossil fuel the right choice of energy source? Could we think of betterfuels? How can we reduce our energy dependence on few regions of the world? Can the new fuels be environmentally better? While doing all this of course, it has to be affordable.

Another way of looking at efficiency is the weight of the vehicle. The more the weight, more would be the drag and thus consumption of fuel. Weight of an empty vehicle depends on materials used to build it. These materials have to be sturdy to withstand sudden impacts and not let the passengers get affected by it. New composites are being used in airplanes. Can some similar materials be used for automobiles? Of course, while thinking about any new technology, one should also think about the cost.

While travelling, all of us certainly want to be safe. Safety includes safety of driver, passengers, as well as pedestrians. Unfortunately, the statistics for our country is not impressive. We are number one in the world in terms of number of fatal accidents despite the fact that the USA has 800 vehicles per 1000 people as opposed to a very small fraction of it in India. How can safety be improved to prevent accidents? What methods should one deploy to ensure safe driving?

Our road condition is literally another pain area. How can we minimize bumpy ride going through ditches? How can we ensure ride comfort despite rough roads?

If we have to go within 15 km radius area, just think about the time involved in metro cities. As the time to commute increases, so does the consumption of petrol. One would not mind spending 15 minutes to get 15 kms of distance covered, whereas we end up spending hours due to traffic jams. Given any two points A and B, we would like to get there as soon as possible. This may be tricky than what you think since it would involve combination of different modalities of transportation. Can we think of multiple modes of transport keeping the time of journey minimum?

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Letter to Principal Click Here

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Message of Appreciation

I am extremely happy to see an initiative of SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions...
By Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

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