‘There are a lot of opportunities’

NDSU students are challenged to solve real-world problems with innovative solutions.

The Society of Automotive Engineers at NDSU each year competes at the International Clean Snowmobile Challenge in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The competition challenges teams to rebuild a snowmobile to run efficiently, reduce emissions and limit its impact on the environment.

Mechanical engineering students Brayden Tjosaas and Lane Kjeldergaard said student organizations like the society combine hands-on learning with memorable experiences.

“It’s a great environment,” said Tjosaas, a recent graduate from Kassen, Minnesota. “You get to meet a lot of people. There are a lot of opportunities with it, which is really nice.”

The team placed second in the diesel engine category and won awards for best overall handling and best fuel economy at the most recent clean snowmobile competition. NDSU was the only team to successfully complete the 100-mile endurance event in a large field of regional colleges and universities.

“Second place is great,” Tjosaas said. “Even though we did get second place, we were the best for diesels, handling and fuel economy. It’s nice to see that we were able to come ahead in some categories and do well overall.”

This year, the team will have a new 2023 Titan stock sled gifted by Polaris and plans to compete in both the gas and diesel engine categories.

“The competition definitely gets you prepared for anything like senior design in engineering,” said Kjeldergaard, a senior from Cushing, Minnesota. “You basically do it every single year here if you’re involved. It definitely helps.”

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