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Overcoming obstacles on the road to Houston
The team at East Los Angeles College, located in Monterey Park, Calif., is working fast and furiously to finish their vehicle to compete in Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. Despite having to overcome several obstacles – including time management, high student withdrawal from the team and funding – the team has not given up. Proving they are up for the challenge, the team is planning to have enough time to drive their vehicle from greater Los Angeles to Houston, a distance of about 1,500 miles that can take up to a day, for the competition.
While East Los Angeles College is no stranger to Shell Eco-marathon Americas, this year is the first for team lead engineer Emgidio Alaniz, and his team members, two engineering students and their female driver, who is studying veterinary sciences. In 2011, the team placed 39th and, in their first appearance, weren’t able to make it to the track. However, Emgidio thinks this has only further motivated the team and is confident they have a good chance to do well this year.
The team’s goal is to achieve at least 500 miles per gallon. “We believe it is our responsibility to help set the team up for success this year and beyond. We are working hard to build a lighter car and want it to be much stronger in terms of safety,” said Emgidio.
Emgidio credits the school’s Dean for Automotive Technology, Adrian Banuelos, for getting him and the team involved with Shell Eco-marathon Americas this year and has been impressed with the school’s support throughout. In particular, Emgidio says the team advisor has been a huge help and makes himself available to meet with the students and keeps the workshop open, even when the school is closed for holidays. Now, the team is looking to gain support of the greater Los Angeles community to demonstrate what can happen when you put your mind to something and never give up.