A clean ride to first place in SAE International Challenge

2020 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge
A member of the MTU team, sponsored by Aramco, chews up a little snow along one of the Michigan trails, demonstrating the team's success in developing a clean snowmobile engine.

A team of engineering students at Michigan Technological University (MTU) captured a number of first place wins in the 2020 Clean Snowmobile Challenge – a collegiate competition series conducted each year by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

Aramco served as a primary sponsor of the MTU team, fortifying its commitment to STEM education and a clean energy future.

The company’s Detroit-based R&D center is collaborating with MTU, as well as other academic partners, to advance Aramco’s engine and fuels program to reduce emissions and optimize performance.

Winning the Challenge
This year’s Challenge drew 14 teams of engineering students representing universities across the U.S. and Canada.  They brought to the Challenge several years of preparation, reengineering a stock snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise while increasing fuel economy – all while preserving the riding excitement demanded by snowmobile enthusiasts.

The Challenge was hosted by the MTU Keweenaw Research Center at its facilities and featured two main engine competitions:  “Spark Ignition” and “Diesel.” The Aramco-sponsored MTU team captured multiple first place awards in the Spark Ignition (SI) competition, with wins in the following categories:  “Overall,” “Best Lab Emissions,” “Quietest Snowmobile” and “Most Practical.”  The team also received a first place award in the Diesel competition for the “Quietest Snowmobile.”

And it didn’t stop there.  While demonstrating their technical ingenuity, the MTU students also conveyed a spirit of congeniality, earning the recognition of “Most Sportsmanlike Winner” in the SI competition, a coveted honor.

2020 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge
The team collaborates during the week-long competition.

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