Perseverance and Spirit Earns Innova Team Major Award at Shell Eco-marathon

2017-5-12Innova-5Perseverance and Spirit Earns Innova Team Major Award at Shell Eco-marathon

Perseverance and spirit are certainly two words that describe the INNOVA Team at Montgomery County Community College, which recently won a major award at the Shell Eco-marathon in Detroit, Mich.

The INNOVA Team, which entered their hydrogen fuel cell-powered urban concept vehicle into the competition, won the Perseverance and Spirit of the Event Award – one of only five off-track awards offered in the competition – including a check for $3,000.

Earlier, the team learned that their vehicle did not qualify for the on-track portion of the competition, and they were getting ready to pack up for the long drive back to the College when two men stopped by and started talking to the team about their vehicle.

“The team had no clue they were judges, we just thought they were just some guys interested in what we were doing,” said team captain Julie Scott of Collegeville, Pa.

Later, an official from the competition stopped by and suggested that the team stick around until after the awards ceremony.

The team was surprised when they learned that they won the award, even thought they had an idea that they would win something when the official asked them to stay. It was the final award given during the ceremony.

“My face hurt after a while because I was smiling so much,” Scott said. “My dad was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen you so happy.’”

William Brownlowe, an associate professor of engineering who served as the team’s advisor, said he was not surprised the team won such an award.

“The spirit of that team was phenomenal,” Brownlowe said. “They never stopped, never quit and never gave up. They created a real family situation.”
The team earned more recognition for their efforts when they were interviewed live on the NBC10 morning show on May 10.

According to Scott, the team has already spent the $3,000 they received with the award – to pay for parts and materials that the team had already purchased and to begin to get ready for next year’s competition.

Since launching the INNOVA initiative, the team has received strong support from PECO, which presented the team with a check for $10,000 just before it left for the Shell Eco-Marathon.