NIU at the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

NIU SAE Clean Snowmobile finished off their competition year on a high placing 9th Overall at the 2015 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge at the Keweenaw Research Center in Houghton, Michigan.

Student members Rich Stueber, Pryce Nutting, Kyle Jackson, and A.J. Martineck all competed for the Northern Illinois University College of Engineering and Engineering Technology Team    

Martineck competed in the Endurance Run to Copper Harbor, a 100 mile ride to measure fuel economy and ridability.  The team was one of only eleven teams to successfully complete the ride and received an award for doing so.

Jackson completed for the team in the Cold Start Challenge.  The team’s sled is left out overnight.  The team then has 20 seconds to start the sled and must ride the sled 100 ft. within two minutes.  The team received an award for successfully completing this challenge.

Stueber competed in the Dynamic Handling Competition, an agility course with twists and turns.  Stueber placed 6th in the competition.

The team received 1st place in the Subjective Ride, where judges ride the sled of each team, through the course used in the Dynamic Handling Competition and give a score based on the ride of the sled.

The team also placed in various areas of competition including 2nd place in acceleration with a time on 7.9 seconds and 8thin fuel economy with 12.7 MPG.  The team placed in multiple areas of the emissions testing, which evaluated hydrocarbons, NO2 levels, and soot, on a scale that is much more strict than even auto emissions testing.  NIU Clean Snowmobile placed 6th in lab testing, 7th in BSFC, and 8thwhile in service, where the machines are attached to the vehicle while it is moving.

The team was also awarded the Most Improved Award, voted on by the judges and an award for research on Trail Track Anti-Lock Break System by Hayes Corporation, who chooses the winner. The research and innovation added more controlled breaking and a safer and more confident ride.

“We showed up. We made it through. We earned respect from the community.  With more backing we can take the next step forward to hopefully become a higher level team,” Stueber said.

Being part of the team has been very valuable to the members of NIU SAE Clean Snowmobile. Nutting stated,“ Clean Snowmobile has given me a lot of exposure to things I wouldn’t have seen before.  I had never built or tore apart an engine.  I never designed and welded a sled.  I experienced things outside the classroom that connects what I’ve learned to in class to something hands on.”

Stueber agreed, explaining, “Being part of the Clean Snowmobile team makes what I do in class relatable to something I enjoy.  I’ve been on the team two years and I’ve learned to become a better leader, how to better work together, and team building.”

“We are very proud of what we did this year, but we could not have done it without the support of our sponsors, family, friends, and NIU CEET.” Nutting stated.  “Our sponsors helped us to be able to get to and through competition.  It has been very expensive for us to compete, but through the kindness of our sponsors, we have all been able to afford to attend.”

So what does this success mean for next year? “ This year gave us ground to stand on.  We will be taking a more drastic approach to competition next year with more changes, increased efficiency, and reduced sound, and emissions.” Said Nutting. 

“We will be back for more.”

A special thanks to our sponsors:
Vinny’s Pizza
All-Together Transportation
Chapel in the Pines Wedding and Banquet Center
Pink Ribbon Riders
Woody’s Traction
Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs
Nielsen Enterprises
Long’s Carpet and Interiors
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