The story began in 2010 (1431 H), when a group of students
from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) decided
to make a not so traditional graduation project, a small remote-controlled solar
car. But the project didn’t stay that way for long, it grew and evolved until a
student team was formed named (Seraaj). The newly formed team decided to stare
into the sun and create a real size car that can carry one person and run
on battery and solar energy alone. The name of the car was (Wahj).
The name of the team and the car were inspired by a verse
from the Holy Quran. The final goal of the project was no longer just to meet
the graduation requirements, but to participate in the World Solar Challenge
that is held in Australia every two years.
A group of students from Seraaj Team, led by Professor Amro
Al-Qutub, a professor in Mechanical Engineering department, traveled to MIT,
USA to learn the basics of manufacturing a solar car, which
normally takes two years, but the team finished the car in just 11
months, and so (Wahj1) was born as the first car to be manufactured
in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When the team wanted to issue a chassis number, they
contacted SAE in America, who are responsible for issuing chassis numbers all
around the world. They revealed a surprising fact that no car has ever
been registered as manufactured in Saudi Arabia and that's why there is no
country code is created so far. So the Seraaj team chose 'RS' as the
country code for Saudi Arabia that means any car manufactured in Saudi in future
must begin with this code. The chassis number for (Wahj) was 001. On 30th
of September, 2011 Saudi Arabia officially entered the list of countries that
Seraaj Team: First Generation
The first generation of Seraaj Team, along with their car
(Wahj-1), participated in the World Solar Challenge 2011 in
Australia, and the result was satisfying particularly since it was
their first ever participation. They were able to cross the road that
starts from north of Australia and leads to its finish line at south of
In 2012, the second generation of Seraaj Team was formed
with the goal to construct (Wahj-2), which they wanted to pass its predecessor
technically, and to avoid a lot of its design errors. They wanted (Wahj-2) to be
one of the top ten cars in the 2013 World Solar Challenge. Seraaj team was
composed of students from multiple disciplines. The team members
faced a lot of technical challenges and spent more than ten thousand work hours
of the course in one and half year. The biggest challenge and
in fact the hardest time of the Project when Professor Amro Al-Qutub
suffered a critical health issue that threatened to end this project.
Despite all this, the team managed to create (Wahj-2), and
it was shipped from the workshop at KFUPM to Sydney airport, where it was
sent to Darwin, the starting point for the race. But, just a few days
before the start of the race, the truck carrying the car was subject to a sudden
fire, and the fruit of two years hard work was turned into ash. The
team was not able to participate in the 2013 race competition.
Today, the team aspires to finish (Wahj-3) and to
participate in the 2015 race. This time they are equipped with the
cumulative experience and armed with a newfound determination.
Seraaj Team from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals is an example of
what determination can do.
If you want to be a member of Seraaj Team and take part in
creating (Wahj3), sign up at
www.seraaj.com/reg before 15th May 2014.
All these details can be found in the documentary film
that was recently
For more information, kindly keep in touch via