Clarkson University of Potsdam, NY, captured first place in the 2012 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, which drew to a close March 10 at Michigan Technological University.
Kettering University, of Flint, placed second, with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville earning third place in the internal-combustion category.
The University of Alaska-Fairbanks won the zero-emissions category.
The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Engineering students from participating schools re-engineer a stock snowmobile, while preserving the riding quality demanded by snowmobile enthusiasts. A total of 12 university teams participated in the internal combustion category.
The Challenge’s zero emissions category, for battery-powered sleds, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NSF uses electric snowmobiles while conducting atmospheric research in pristine arctic locations. The electric or zero emissions challenge is running up to 20 miles with one battery charge. Five teams participated in the zero emission category.
This was the 13th annual challenge. The snow was great and all the events ran smoothly.
Awards were presented for recognizing the best balance between cost, fuel economy, performance, design, handling and acceleration.
The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is sponsored by Michigan Technological University by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris, and Yamaha) are gold sponsors of the event and support the competition throughout the year.
Plans for next year’s event are being discussed and preparations are under way for another great event.