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Clarkson University Wins Clean Snowmobile Challenge With Cat-Powered Snowmobile

Tue May 16, 2023 - Northeast Edition
Milton CAT


Clarkson University’s Diesel Sled team recently took home top honors for its Cat-powered snowmobile in the Diesel Division of the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. (Milton CAT photo)
Clarkson University’s Diesel Sled team recently took home top honors for its Cat-powered snowmobile in the Diesel Division of the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. (Milton CAT photo)
Clarkson University’s Diesel Sled team recently took home top honors for its Cat-powered snowmobile in the Diesel Division of the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. (Milton CAT photo) The 11-student team won the Best Design Award, Best Handling Award, and Overall Top Class Award and placed first in the Best Fuel Efficiency and In-Service Emissions categories. (Milton CAT photo) Clarkson Diesel Sled’s champion snowmobile, a 2021 Polaris Titan, is powered by a turbocharged Caterpillar C1.1 three-cylinder engine from Milton CAT. (Milton CAT photo) Milton CAT Power Systems Sales Rep and Clarkson alumni Evan Allen delivering the CAT C1.1 engine to the Clarkson Diesel Sled team in 2019. (Milton CAT photo)

Clarkson University's Diesel Sled team recently took home top honors for its Cat-powered snowmobile in the Diesel Division of the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) held at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River, Wis.

The 11-student team won the Best Design Award, Best Handling Award and Overall Top Class Award and placed first in the Best Fuel Efficiency and In-Service Emissions categories.

With the goal of winning the CSC, Clarkson Diesel Sled is one of many SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) project teams at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

While the students can lean on Clarkson employees for support, the team is fully led by the students allowing them to learn and refine their engineering skills. The CSC, a program of SAE International formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, is an engineering design competition that challenges students to reengineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. Participants' modified snowmobiles compete in a series of static and dynamic events, including emissions, noise, fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, cold start, cost and design.

Clarkson Diesel Sled's champion snowmobile, a 2021 Polaris Titan, is powered by a turbocharged Caterpillar C1.1 three-cylinder engine from Milton CAT. It is equipped with a Gladstone Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) along with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to capture soot.

To increase performance, the team designed and fabricated a custom fuel delivery system and added power steering to assist with handling the 900-lb. machine. The snowmobile was retired after the competition as the team plans to compete in the Hybrid Division in 2024.

The co-team leaders were: Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering Major Alex Rodriguez ‘23 and Mechanical Engineering Major Brandon O'Neill ‘24; as well as Aerospace Engineering Major Joe Gromlowicz ‘25; Mechanical Engineering Major Jeff Hansen ‘24; Electrical Engineer Major Mike Hewey ‘25; Mechanical Engineering Major Zach Lutzke ‘25; Mechanical Engineering Major Josh Segal ‘26; Mechanical Engineering Major Nick Marsh ‘26; Mechanical Engineering Major Dan Ball ‘24; Mechanical Engineering Major Brian Manning ‘26; and Mechanical Engineering Major Patrick McCabe ‘24.

The 11-student team won the Best Design Award, Best Handling Award, and Overall Top Class Award and placed first in the Best Fuel Efficiency and In-Service Emissions categories. (Milton CAT photo)




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