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Clarkson University Competes in Clean Snowmobile Challenge

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Clarkson University’s Clean Snowmobile team took home the bronze in the internal-combustion division this weekend at the 2009 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at Michigan Technological University, tying for the American Council of Snowmobile Associations Award for third place with the University of Idaho.

Clarkson’s Electric Snowmobile team finished fourth overall in the zero-emissions division.

The teams are part of the University’s SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. clean snowmobile challenge 2009

Clarkson’s Clean Snowmobile team was one of five teams to complete the endurance run, traveling 65 miles, 30 on the Keweenaw Research Center track and 35 on snowmobile trails.

Matthew R. Mastro, a mechanical engineering sophomore from Sherburne, N.Y., who drove the Clarkson snowmobile that day, called the trails "pretty decent." "The only problem was cooling the sled," he said.

The Clean Snowmobile finished second in fuel economy and lab emissions, and third in acceleration, in-service emissions and objective handling.

The Electric Snowmobile finished first in noise, second in subjective ride, acceleration and weight, and third in draw bar and objective handling.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a collegiate design competition of the Society of Automotive Engineers, held annually at Michigan Tech. Engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it. Their aim: to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or boosting performance. This year, the internal-combustion entries adapted their engines to run on flex-fuel, with varying ratios of ethanol and gasoline.

Now in its 10th year, the Challenge established a second category for zero-emissions snowmobiles in 2005. These battery-powered sleds are designed for use by researchers in pristine, arctic locations.

Members of the Clean Snowmobile team are freshmen Benjamin D. Salisbury, engineering studies, Easton, Mass.; Adam M. Van Bramer, engineering studies, Troy, N.Y.; and Ryan J. Whitehouse, mechanical engineering, Troy, N.Y; sophomores Hannah K. Callahan, mechanical engineering, Massena, N.Y.; Andrew J. Desrosiers, aeronautical engineering, Londonderry, N.H.; Christopher M. Hannett, civil engineering, Albany, N.Y.; John A. Heller, civil engineering, Altamont, N.Y.; Joshua R. Hills, aeronautical engineering, West Newbury, Mass.; Matthew R. Mastro, mechanical engineering, Sherburne, N.Y.; Courtney M. Menard, mechanical engineering, Morrisonville, N.Y.; Eric G. Schuler, civil engineering, Utica, N.Y.; Peter N. Schneebeli, engineering & management, Auburn, Ala.; and Nicholas A. Baillargeon, aeronautical engineering, Springfield, Mass.; juniors Scott M. Hess, mechanical engineering, Corning, N.Y.; Derrick J. Kehoe, civil engineering, Watertown, N.Y.; Pete V. Giovenco, mechanical engineering, Macedon, N.Y.; and David J. Murray, civil engineering, Horseheads, N.Y.; and seniors Scott J. Markgraf, computer engineering, James, N.Y.; and Marc S. Rogner, mechanical engineering, Ballston Spa, N.Y.;

Electric Snowmobile Team members are sophomores Peter J. Kudriewicz, aeronautical engineering, Little Falls, N.Y.; and Leif R. Amber, electrical engineering, Chelsea, Vt.; juniors Scott J. Keefe, electrical engineering, Binghamton, N.Y.; Brian C. Loggi, electrical engineering, Hilton, N.Y.; Jeannie M. Piekarz, electrical engineering, Carmel, N.Y.; and Jonathan D. DiGiacomandrea, electrical engineering, Fairport, N.Y.; and seniors Thomas L. Masse, engineering & management, Rutland, Vt.; Timothy A. Swyka, electrical engineering, Westtown, N.Y.; and Joshua D. Gale, mechanical engineering, Goffstown, N.H.

Prof. Don H. Rasmussen is the faculty advisor for the Electric Team. Prof. Douglas G. Bohl advises the Clean Team.

The SPEED program is one of Clarkson’s Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives, exemplifying Clarkson’s "defy convention" approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 350 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design, analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills, such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil, Qualcomm Inc., Alcoa Inc., Cives Steel Company, Turner Construction Company, Babcock Power Inc. and Saint-Gobain Corporation.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Marc S. Rogner of Clarkson University’s Clean Snowmobile team competes in the 2009 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at Michigan Technological University. The Clean Snowmobile took home third place in the internal-combustion division. Clarkson’s Electric Snowmobile team finished fourth in the zero-emissions division.

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

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