The 16th Annual SAE Snowmobile Challenge was held March 3-7 at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., with more than 20 teams from the U.S., Canada and Finland participating.
The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association — Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris and Yamaha — were Gold-level sponsors of the event. Representatives from the manufacturers were involved in the event and supported the college and university students participating.
The University of Wisconsin won the Internal Combustion Engine Division, ahead of Kettering University.
The competition featured a new Diesel Utility category, where North Dakota State took first place. The diesel category was created as diesel sleds have different characteristics than gasoline sleds, and there is growing demand for snowmobile use in the agricultural and hard work categories that would use diesel power. Second place in the Diesel category was awarded to SUNY-Buffalo.
The Finnish team from Lapland University of Applied Sciences celebrated its first year as the top Zero-Emissions team.
Michigan Tech has hosted the Snowmobile Challenge for the past 13 years and experienced a beautiful snowy winter with temperatures solidly in the freezing range, providing ideal conditions for the SAE Collegiate Design competition.
A record-setting 11 teams completed the 100-mile endurance run to Copper Harbor.
In addition to engineers and other groups, the U.S. Forest Service is very supportive of the challenge. Forest Service representatives believe that the snowmobile industry and clubs have made great strides, and this partnership with the Snowmobile Challenge is a great opportunity for the students to help move forward in a partnership.
The SAE Snowmobile Challenge includes such activities as:
Endurance Run from Houghton to Copper Harbor
Technical presentations on emissions and design parameters
Subjective handling event
Scientific testing of emission levels and sound levels