A team of NDSU mechanical engineering students is set to compete in the 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge March 4-9 at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich. The competition’s aim is to reduce emissions and noise and increase fuel efficiency, while preserving the riding excitement demanded by snowmobile enthusiasts.
NDSU team members are Burton Fischer from Ada, Minn.; Matt Lewis from Oronoco, Minn.; Justin Juckem from Chilton, Wis.; and Neal Eidenschink from Medina, Minn. They are all seniors who are majoring in mechanical engineering.
“We want to keep it simple – that’s been our theme,” Fischer said about the team’s snowmobile. “We are concentrating on fuel economy, emissions and noise output more than any other aspects this year. These areas are worth the most amount of points in the competition and will aid to our first place goal.”
A total of 14 teams, including NDSU, are registered in the event’s internal combustion category. Diesel-powered entries from NDSU and the State University of New York at Buffalo will face teams using flex fuels. The sleds will be measured on quietness, emissions and fuel economy. Teams also complete a 100-mile Endurance Run, which is a measure of reliability. In addition, there are acceleration and handling events.
Teams registered in the internal combustion category are NDSU; Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y.; École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal; Kettering University, Flint, Mich.; Michigan Technological University; Northern Illinois University; Rochester Institute of Technology; SUNY Buffalo; University of Idaho, University of Maine, the University of Waterloo, Ontario; University of Wisconsin- Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Seven additional teams are entered in the challenge’s zero-emissions category, which is for battery-powered electric sleds.
Major sponsors for the competition include the National Science Foundation, Aristo, AVL, Boss Snow Plow, Coca Cola of Hancock, Dassault Systems/Solid Works Corporation, Gage Products, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, PCB Group Inc., Phoenix International - a John Deere company, Sensors Inc., DENSO, Mahle Powertrain, Emitec and NGK/NTK Sensors.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.