Saskatchewan Polytechnic students design and build vehicle for international competition
Ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle slated to compete in upcoming Shell Eco-marathon.
April 24, 2017 - Several students from the Mechanical and CAD/CAM Engineering Technology programs designed, built and tested an ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle, which gets its world debut on April 27 in Detroit at the Shell Eco-Marathon. This is the first time Saskatchewan Polytechnic has ever competed in the marathon, and hopefully it won’t be the last.
“We are very proud of what our students have accomplished,” says Jamie Hilts, dean, School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing. “Their ability to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and transform it into useful, practical and often innovative items is truly amazing.”
The car, which has already been shipped to Detroit, was built by students from scratch. It took five months to design and two months to build and test. The body is constructed of carbon fiber to minimize weight and maximize strength, while the functioning parts such as the intake manifold, parts of the steering system and parts of the fuel delivery system were 3D printed. An ice auger motor powers the car, which is fed by a customized fuel injection system with a single fuel injector.
“It truly is an incredible machine,” says Tim Muench, program head for the Mechanical and CAD/CAM Engineering programs. “Our lab tech, Andrew Baerg, helped to spearhead the project, but it is entirely student designed and built.”
The Shell Eco-marathon is an annual competition in which participants can win awards for on-track performance as well as in off-track categories such as safety and vehicle design. The event will host competitors and spectators from across North and South America, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase Saskatchewan Polytechnic and its exceptional students to an international audience.
“It will be a great chance for Sask Polytech to show industry leaders from around the world what our students are capable of,” says Muench. “It’s the first time we’ve ever competed in the Shell Eco-marathon and I know everyone is really excited. And maybe a little bit nervous.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.