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Engineering students place second in eco-friendly snowmobile contest

Members of the UB team are, from left, Noor Jariri, Nate Sutorious, Pat O'Byrne, Matt Egan, Dave Stedman, Anthony Marchesiello, Peter Casey and Nick Lanzano

Members of the UB team are, from left, Noor Jariri, Nate Sutorious, Pat O'Byrne, Matt Egan, Dave Stedman, Anthony Marchesiello, Peter Casey and Nick Lanzano.

Published May 8, 2014

The challenge: reduce a snowmobile’s emissions and noise while maintaining or improving its performance.

A team of UB engineering students, by all accounts, did just that.

Competing in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge March 3-8 in Michigan, the UB team took home top honors in two categories — Best Lab Emissions and Best In-Service Emissions — as well as second place overall among 14 universities and colleges.

The UB team, members of the university’s Society of Automotive Engineers student chapter, took a 2011 stock snowmobile and made a handful of modifications to improve its handling and performance.

For example, the team installed a turbo-charged diesel engine which, along with other adjustments, reduced the amount of environment-damaging emissions that the sled produces. It also helped reduce the sled’s noise and improve its fuel economy from 12 mpg to 28 mpg.

The fuel-efficiency boost came in handy because a component of the competition was a 100-mile ride in Michigan’s chilly Upper Peninsula. The contest was held at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

For more information about the competition, visit Michigan Tech’s website.