Sean Coleman, a graduate industrial design student at the College of Design at North Carolina State University, was announced the winner of the 2010 Shell Eco-marathon: Autodesk Real World Challenge. The competition, which received entries from around the United States, was launched in an effort to provide real-world experience that enabled students to leverage their design skills as they created energy-efficient cars.
Among the numerous entries submitted through the online Autodesk Education Community, Coleman’s car stood out among competitors because of its sleek design and eco-friendly features. Coleman, who is passionate about product and automotive design, entered the competition to challenge himself to design a car that is both modern and sustainable. With the support of his industrial design professor and advice from peers, he produced a model that reflects contemporary design, good taste, and practicality.
The Urban Concept Car competition category made its debut at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2009. In 2010 Autodesk challenged students to apply talent, creativity, and knowledge to design a body for the actual to be unveiled at the event. Students were given access to industry-leading, Autodesk Inventor Professional software, along with a rich collection of resources to help from brainstorming initial design concepts, to Digital Prototyping, through test and build.
Coleman had roughly 3 years of experience with Autodesk® Inventor® 2010 and relied on that foundation as he continued to develop his skills in Autodesk® Showcase® 2010 and Autodesk® Alias® Automotive 2010. To transform his design from an idea and sketches into reality he built the frame to spec within Inventor and then used Alias to model the body directly over that frame.
“With Autodesk software, I was able to work in full scale,” says Coleman. “The software allowed me to construct and control every aspect of my design, from the overall shape to the character lines that complement it.” Coleman says he saved hours of time by rendering the final design using Showcase.
The competition was a way to give students the opportunity to expand their design skills while using the same Autodesk software they will use in their careers. Not only did winning the competition reinforce the potential and future success Coleman has in store as a designer, but it’s giving him the opportunity to see this design of his in real life—fully functioning and drivable—as the Shell Oil Company will build a full-size model of his winning design for display at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event March 26-28 in Houston, Texas.
"This challenge helped me increase my interest in automotive design," Coleman says. "Designing the car and winning the competition is going to be one of the more memorable experiences of my life and one of my most treasured memories."
Sean’s advice to other students pursuing design careers is to “discover what you love to do and pursue it with a passion. Also, don’t be afraid to branch out and dabble in other fields as it will enhance your knowledge base. Finally, embrace criticism and never stop learning!”
See more images and information on Sean’s design, including buzz in the media and reports from the event on the Autodesk Education Community.
The Autodesk global partnership with the Shell Eco-marathon includes programs in Europe and Asia, and this year, approximately 400 student teams representing more than 40 nations from around the world will participate in the 3 events.
Learn more about Autodesk and the Shell Eco-Marathon.