Momentum - February 2019 - 10

STUDENT
GENERATION

The team after well fought 2018 competition, including our advisor, Dr. Schroeder (far right).
where economy runs would take place the next day. Each
run takes approximately 40 minutes from start to stop,
and drivers have to complete 9.6 miles (six continuous
laps around the 1.6-mile track). For each run (up to six
runs allowed), the car must maintain an average speed of
at least 15 mph. Initial results during testing showed that
we were short on our expected mileage, but it wouldn't
be until the following day after our fourth completed
run during the competition that we found this was being
caused by a fuel leak.
Once we fixed the fuel leak, our mileage shot back up
to 1749 mpg-only 9 mpg shy of our personal record. But
we were running out of time. We decided to go out with
a bang and swapped out our rear treaded tire for a much
smoother front one-something that hadn't even been
tested yet. The tread provided more grip on the track, but

The cracked section
of the frame. The
plate holds up the
left wheel, "and
without a repair,
we were going
nowhere," said Josh
Helsper, president
of the NIU SAE
Supermileage Team.
10 February 2019

the smoother tire could withstand higher pressures and had less overall
rolling resistance. After sitting on the side of the track for what felt like
hours, we had our results: a success! Our vehicle achieved 1,888 mpg, which
put us in second place. Additionally, since we had the most cumulative
mileage earned, we were awarded as the most reliable car on the track,
which made all the work we put in earlier much more worthwhile.
This upcoming 2019 competition on June 6-7 will mark the 10th year
for our team, and we want to make it one to remember by breaking
our record once again. We plan on reaching 2,500 mpg by making
significant changes to our engine and power transmission, while still
maintaining our vehicle's steadfast reliability.
In the past, the team tested different gear ratios, and the trend was
that a higher ratio meant for a more efficient vehicle. Currently, our gear
ratio has been maxed out, as the engine sprocket is as small as feasible,
and the rear sprocket is only slightly smaller than the rear tire. For this
reason, we have decided to implement an intermediary shaft that will
allow us to further increase the final gear ratio. ANSYS FEA software
was used to check for stress concentrations in the design and to check
the expected factor of safety. Manufacturing has begun on this project,
and testing is expected to be finished by mid-March so that the results
can be incorporated into our design report, which contributes to a
team's final score at the competition.
I'll be graduating from NIU this spring, and while I'll still be close by
working on a master's, this may be my last year being heavily involved
with the team. I'm not worried about the future of the team, however,
as I know it will be led skillfully by Matt McCoy and Lauren Bangert,
our future president and vice president, respectively. While only
sophomores currently, they've been members of the team their entire
time at NIU and have grown to learn the ins and outs of the vehicle. I
have full confidence in their ability to lead the team over the many miles
which are yet to come for NIU Supermileage.
Josh Helsper, a Northern Illinois University senior in mechanical
engineering and president of the NIU SAE Supermileage team wrote this
article for MOMENTUM. After getting his master's degree, he plans on
working at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.

MOMENTUM



Momentum - February 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2019

Momentum - February 2019
Contents
Go all in with your student membership
Briefs
Battling the elements
‘Hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck’
Shootout in Canada
How to lead a team
Plan, prepare, and succeed
‘The Eagle has landed’
SAE Detroit Section helps teams prep for Formula SAE season
SAE 101: Organically developed member groups considered for new organization model
DOSSIER: Mario Gutierrez of Robby Gordon Motorsports
Tips for navigating through the entry-level position
New SAE technical paper competition launches
Momentum - February 2019 - Momentum - February 2019
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2019 - Contents
Momentum - February 2019 - Go all in with your student membership
Momentum - February 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - February 2019 - Battling the elements
Momentum - February 2019 - 5
Momentum - February 2019 - 6
Momentum - February 2019 - 7
Momentum - February 2019 - ‘Hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck’
Momentum - February 2019 - 9
Momentum - February 2019 - 10
Momentum - February 2019 - Shootout in Canada
Momentum - February 2019 - How to lead a team
Momentum - February 2019 - 13
Momentum - February 2019 - Plan, prepare, and succeed
Momentum - February 2019 - ‘The Eagle has landed’
Momentum - February 2019 - SAE Detroit Section helps teams prep for Formula SAE season
Momentum - February 2019 - SAE 101: Organically developed member groups considered for new organization model
Momentum - February 2019 - DOSSIER: Mario Gutierrez of Robby Gordon Motorsports
Momentum - February 2019 - 19
Momentum - February 2019 - New SAE technical paper competition launches
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - February 2019 - Cover4
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