Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI’s Electric Snowmobile finishes 4th at the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

March 16, 2017

The School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI’s Electric Snowmobile team

The School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI’s Electric Snowmobile team

The School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI’s Electric Snowmobile finished 4th place at the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) that was hosted by Michigan Technological University (MTU) March 5-11, 2017.

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is hosted by Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering –Engineering Mechanics. The events and tests are held north of Houghton at the Keweenaw Research Center, where student teams run a gambit of tests ranging from an endurance run to oral presentations to exhaust emissions measurements. On Saturday morning, only four sleds started in the bitter cold; one electric, diesel, and two internal combustion sleds using batteries, B15 biodiesel and E59 gasoline (59 percent ethanol), respectively.

A total of 25 teams competed from 19 institutions in which IUPUI was the only school with electric/diesel combination to compete. Two additional schools competed in the electric/gasoline category, while three other schools competed in the diesel/gasoline category.

The rookie effort of IUPUIs diesel powered sled took 6th and was nominated as one of three schools in the best engine design category.
Previous electric snowmobiles finished in 5th and 6th place.
The diesel sled passed static technical inspection late, and was unable to pass dynamic inspection in time.
Next years’ competition will take place March 5-10, 2018. The IUPUI team is already looking to involve more freshman and sophomore students into this endeavor.

To see all results from this years’ SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, visit

About SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge®

The SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) program is an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The program provides participants with the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills by applying learned classroom theories in a challenging competition that tests their designs to reengineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. Participants’ modified snowmobiles will compete in a variety of events including emissions, noise, fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, static display, cold start and design.

The CSC Rules Committee makes changes to the competition each year to keep the competition fresh and to present new engineering challenges. CSC is primarily an "engine" competition however the underlying theme has remained consistent to engineer a clean and quiet trail sled. Current trail sleds are engineered to these standards, but it is possible to achieve more. Noise levels can be reduced and cleaner fuels can lead to lower emissions.