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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:25 am 
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Fairbanks engineering students compete in 12th Annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge
by Joshua Straub / News-Miner intern Fairbanks Daily News Miner
Mar 23, 2011 FAIRBANKS — Nine mechanical engineering students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks spent six days on the edge of their snowmachines’ seats but finally rode away with several awards at the 12th Annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

The students — two graduate and seven undergraduate — entered as two teams in the competition, hosted by Michigan Technology University and the Society of Automotive Engineers March 7-12 in Houghton, Michigan.

One team engineered a sled with an internal combustion engine, which was named most improved snowmachine in that category, while the other team focused on a zero emissions sled and earned an award for best design.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge hosted 13 universities from around the country and one from Quebec. This was the fifth year in a row UAF has sent teams.

Most of the event was a smooth ride for the two teams. One complication came during the cold start event, where the team was given 20 seconds to start its internal combustion sled. Even though the the temperature was a balmy 30 degrees at the time, anxieties ran high up to the last second of the countdown.

“I was just sitting there turning the key and giving it a little gas, thinking this was typical of how things were going early in the week,” said Allan Spangler, a co-team leader. “Then, just as the judge counted out one second left, it turned on. Sometimes I think the machines have a mind of their own and personalities. Either way it was a huge relief and I was glad to be able to compete in that day’s events.”

Competition organizers wanted the internal combustion snowmachines to be quieter and to emit much less fuel and carbon monoxide than production-model sleds. The sleds still had to travel 100 miles without refueling and reach 45 mph.

UAF’s internal combustion sled team finished in eighth place in the overall rankings, a school record, ousting Kettering, University of Maine and University of Waterloo. The team took home the Aristo Intelligent Catalyst Technology Award for most improved snowmobile, the NGK Spark Plugs/NTK Sensors Cold Start Award and the Phoenix award, which competition organizers created in honor of UAF’s hard work and determination. The new award was adopted by the event to recognize teams that “rise from the ashes to compete.”

UAF’s zero emissions sled team finished in fourth place overall. The team received the SAE Award for best design, with 245 points out of a possible 250.

The zero emissions sleds, which could emit no hydrocarbons, were judged on their range, pulling performance and innovative features.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison won first place in the zero emissions class, while Clarkson University won the internal combustion category.

“Our results this year were decent,” Spangler said. “We managed to compete with both an electric and an internal combustion snowmobile. This was a huge step forward for our school and, even though our results were pretty much mid-pack, we have created a really solid foundation to build off of for next year. Hopefully, our continued participation in this event will garner us some more support from the university,” Spangler said.

Michael Golub, SAE student chapter president and a co-team leader, said it’s “logical for an engineering school in Alaska to compete in this competition.”

Other students competing in the this year’s challenge included Wyatt Rehder, Amanda Mertes, Craig McKenzie, Ian Matteson, William Coleman, Isaac Thompson and Lisa Stowell.
Copyright 2011 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. All rights reserved.


Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Fairbanks engineering students compete in 12th Annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Tough to find pictures or videos. Most of the pictures are of the machine in motion, which means it looks like just about any other factory snowmachine.

Like to see more about the engines and suspensions they are trying out.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:30 am 
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Did you see the pics / video from this page?

http://www.alaska.edu/uaf/cem/me/news/z ... achine.xml


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