UB’s “Green” Snowmobile Wins National Contest

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: April 17, 2000 This content is archived.


Related Multimedia

A team of UB engineering students retooled and redesigned a snowmobile into a cleaner, quieter machine to win the Inaugural Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The cleanest, meanest, most economical snowmobile machine isn't yet available in a store near you. It's at the University at Buffalo.

A used Polaris, redesigned and retooled by a team of engineering students, recently beat competitors from six other schools at the Inaugural Clean Snowmobile Challenge held in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Bringing home $17,000 in prize money for their school, the team captured top honors in four of the five major categories, including categories of low emissions and noise levels, best design and fuel economy.

Each of the seven teams from colleges and universities had six months to redesign and retool hand-me-down Polaris snow machines as their entries. The competition was sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers; a co-sponsor was the National Park Service.

The competition, aimed at promoting cleaner, quieter snow machines, took a more serious turn since there's a distinct possibility that snowmobiles eventually may be banned from national parks because of noise and pollution concerns.

UB's four-stroke-engine machine had a virtually undetectable reading in hydrocarbon emissions. It also featured fuel injection and a special catalytic converter.

It was quieter, thanks to foam padding lining the hood of the engine. And it got 27.3 miles per gallon, or about double that of other machines.

Members of the winning team are Adam Echter, Nick Ferraro and Paul Nichols, all of Rochester; Andrew Mills of Greenwood; Eric Baker of Syracuse; Daniel Drake of Corning; Michael Kurczewski of Hamburg, and Chris Wallin of Albany.