Background Image

News & Events


HeadClarkson University Team Takes First Place in Clean Snowmobile Challenge

[A photograph for media use is available at 2008.jpg]

Hosted by Michigan Technological University, the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineers' newest collegiate design competition. Engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance.

Event co-organizer Jay Meldrum, director of the Keweenaw Research Center, said that in Clarkson's case, simplicity paid off. "They just boosted the pressure on their fuel pump and added a catalytic converter," he said. "They deserved to win." snowmobile-ic-2008

Clarkson also received the Lotus Engineering and Horiba Instruments Award for Lowest Emissions and the EMITEC Award for Best Value, which balances cost, fuel economy and performance.

All entries in the challenge's internal combustion division were required to run on biofuel, and most, including Clarkson, chose E85 ethanol. The events included: The 100-mile endurance race, subjective handling, objective handling, acceleration, engine noise, cold start, and an oral presentation of the design.

The Clarkson team used a 2006 Polaris FST Classic Snowmobile that was converted to run on E85 winter-blend ethanol. The fuel delivery system was modified to be ethanol resistant and the system included the additions of an ethanol compatible external fuel pump and adjustable fuel pressure regulator in order to precisely control fuel flow.

A catalytic converter was also integrated into a redesigned muffler to reduce emissions. This design was quite different from all the other schools in the competition in that most teams use after market ECUs to map and control the fuel flow. This requires $3,000-$4,000 worth of computer equipment and the need to tune the engine on a dynamometer to be competitive. The Clarkson design was simplistic and reliable, and cost about $500 to complete.

Members of the Clarkson Winter Knights Internal Combustion Clean Snowmobile Team are Pete V. Giovenco, a freshman from Macedon, N.Y., majoring in mechanical engineering; Nicholas A. Baillargeon, a freshman from Springfield, Mass., majoring in aeronautical engineering; Marc S. Rogner, a junior from Ballston Spa, N.Y., majoring in mechanical engineering; Matt R. Mastro, a sophomore from Sherburne, N.Y., majoring in mechanical engineering; Phil J. Mitchell, a senior from Colden, N.Y., majoring in mechanical engineering; and Silas Magee, a December 2007 graduate from Dryden, N.Y., who majored in mechanical engineering. Giovenco, Baillargeon and Rogner traveled to Michigan for the competition.

Team Advisers Bob Davis and Doug Bohl say that the team would like to thank Polaris Industries, Camoplast Corporation, and Mark Hill and Neil Haney from the SUNY Canton Motorsports Program for their support.

Photo caption: Marc S. Rogner, a junior from Ballston Spa, N.Y., drives the Clarkson Internal Combustion Snowmobile in the acceleration event at the Clean Snowmobile Challenge in Houghton, Mich. The Clarkson Winter Knights Internal Combustion Clean Snowmobile Team took first place at the competition.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

Calendar View the full calendar >>

Full Calendar RSS Feed