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Shell brings lubricants technology lecture on innovations in the face of the energy challenge to IIT Madras

A panel of industry experts discussed the role of co-engineering and innovation in the development of fuel efficient lubricants

Following the success of the first two editions of Shell’s Global Lecture Series at Imperial College, London, and Tsinghua University, Beijing, Shell brought together automotive industry experts at the third edition of the Shell Lubricants Technology Lecture today in India at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Chennai. Here speakers emphasised cross-industry co-engineering as the fastest route to optimising fuel efficiency in lubricants for vehicles. The event was attended by leading automotive and engineering experts in India as well as IIT Madras faculty and students.

Dr. Selda Gunsel, Vice President of Shell Global Commercial Technology and one of the speakers at the event said, “At Shell, we believe lubricants - alongside new fuel and engine technologies - have a unique and vital role to play in meeting the global energy challenge.

Our research shows that fuel economy can be improved by using the most suitable quality lubricant for an engine, and that even higher savings can be achieved when the lubricants provider and the automotive original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, work together to develop bespoke products for a particular vehicle. This involves long-term co-engineering projects within the industry.”

Co-engineering was further reinforced by Professor Gordon Murray, renowned Formula One and McLaren designer as well as the Chief Executive Officer and Technical Director for Gordon Murray Designs (GMD): “At GMD we are developing innovative cars that challenge every aspect of car design concepts, including lubrication. A lubricant is a vital engine component that has more potential than most for improving a vehicle’s fuel economy and cutting its CO2 emissions. That is why we have been working closely with Shell as technical partners since 2010. We share the same drive for fuel efficiency and innovation in an energy challenged world.”

Nitin Prasad, Country Head, Shell Lubricants India, inaugurated the event. He said, “The Shell Lubricants Technology Lecture is a great platform to collaborate across media, academia and industry on how lubricants can be used as a valuable design parameter in the automotive industry as opposed to an afterthought. I am very glad to see such an impressive turn out and hope we can continue to share knowledge delivering greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions in the Indian automotive industry.”

Professor Krishnan Balasubramanian, Dean of Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research at IIT Madras said, “We are proud to host the Shell Lubricants Technology Lecture at IIT Madras for industry experts who are at the forefront of automotive technology in India. Education and practical experience go hand-in-hand and this type of technical knowledge sharing is vital for the development of India’s future engineers.”

Other distinguished  speakers at the Shell Lubricants Technology Lecture included Dr. Tim Leverton, Head of Advanced & Product Engineering at Tata Motors; Rick Finn, Corporate Strategy Team, Infineum.

Notes to editors

Global lecture series

  • The recurring theme for the Global Lecture Series is the energy challenge and co-engineering in lubrication to improve fuel efficiency.
  • The inaugural lecture of the Shell Lubricants Global Lecture Series was given by Dr. Selda Gunsel and Professor Gordon Murray at Imperial College, London in November 2012.
  • The lecture at Tsinghua University, Beijing was held in October 2013. This was after the research and development partnership announced by Shell in 2011 with the State Key Laboratory of Tribology in Tsinghua University. The partnership focuses on work to deepen the understanding of lubrication on textured surfaces.

Gordon Murray Design and Shell Technical Partnership

  • In 2011, collaboration between research teams at Shell and GMD led to the development of an innovative concept engine lubricant achieving a 6.5 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency for the GMD T.25 design.
  • This was a significant step change compared to the improvements of around 2.5 per cent achieved in typical fuel economy lubricant development programmes in EU urban cycle compared with 5W-30.
  • The T.25 represents a major breakthrough. It is a city car designed to have world-leading efficiency and ultra-low emissions. The car is also optimised for performance, cost, safety, usability, recyclability and ease of assembly, which gives it many key advantages.

About Shell Lubricants

The term ‘Shell Lubricants’ collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. Shell sells a wide variety of lubricants to meet customer needs across a range of applications. These include consumer motoring, heavy-duty transport, mining, power generation and general engineering. Shell’s portfolio of lubricant brands includes Shell Helix, Shell Rimula, and Shell Spirax. We are active across the full lubricant supply chain. We manufacture base oils in eight plants, we blend base oils with additives to make finished lubricants in almost 70 plants, and we distribute, market and sell lubricants in over 100 countries.

We have more experts talking to more customers than any other lubricants supplier. We have over 350 technical support specialists and 1,000 sales professionals working with customers every day. We offer a wide range of services in addition to our products, including Shell LubeMatch, a market leading online tool that matches lubricants to vehicles and equipments, and Shell LubeAnalyst, an early warning system that enables our business customers to monitor the condition of their equipment and lubricant, helping to save money on maintenance.

Shell’s world-class technology is applied in our products and technological collaborations. We have four leading lubricants research centres in Germany, the USA, and Japan (in a joint venture with Showa Shell) with more than 200 scientists and engineers dedicated to lubricants research and development.

We have 150 + patent series for lubricants, base oils and greases. One of the ways we push the boundaries of lubricant technology is by working closely with top motor racing teams such as Scuderia Ferrari and Penske Racing. These technical partnerships enable us to expand our knowledge of lubrication science and transfer cutting-edge technology from the racetrack to our commercial products.

About Shell Lubricants India

Shell is one of the most diversified international oil company in India's energy sector with nearly US$1 billion invested. It is a major private sector supplier of crude products and chemicals to India. With over 3000 staff in the country, Shell has a significant Technology center, a financial business services center and operates an LNG receiving and re-gasification terminal.

It also has a downstream business marketing fuels, lubricants and specialty products. Shell Lubricants’ India operation is part of Shell’s long-term commitment to India and its support for the country's increasing energy needs. Shell Lubricants’ customers in India include Wartsila, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Ford and Thermax.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Edelman India – Rakhi Aurora, rakhi.aurora@edelman.com , +919899138902

Shell India - Gurmeet Kaur, gurmeet.kaur@shell.com , +911244771519

Shell Lubricants Global - Mallika Desai, mallika.desai@shell.com , +6597292377