Momentum - September 2019 - 22
PENN STATE BEHREND
REPEATS AS CHAMP AT
Photo credit: Eaton Corp.
THE SAE CLUB AT PENN STATE BEHREND ended this
year's SAE Supermileage competition the same way it
finished it in 2018: in the winner's circle.
The path to this year's championship, however, could
not have been more different.
Held as always at the Marshall Proving Grounds of host
Eaton Corp. June 6 and 7, SAE Supermileage challenges
teams to create vehicles that squeeze the most mileage
out of a single tank of high-octane gasoline. The
Behrend vehicle circled the 9.6-mile course at 2,420
miles per gallon.
The team's 2018 vehicle traveled 3,013 miles on a single
gallon. For a number of reasons, however, this year's
finish is even more impressive.
"Basically, everything that could have gone wrong,
went wrong," said Aleksey Checkeye, vice president
of the Behrend SAE club and the driver of the vehicle.
"I think this year was probably the most rewarding,
simply because we did not know if we would make it
onto the track."
Things got off to a bad start right from the beginning,
as the truck carrying the team's vehicle was in a minor
accident as it merged onto the interstate toward Michigan.
Things only got worse once the team arrived.
"We got there and tried to pass technical inspection,
and I realized that I could barely steer the car," Checkeye said. "We were trying to steer the car so hard that it
actually ripped some of the carbon fiber underneath."
The team improvised, as good engineers often do.
From 6 p.m. to almost midnight on the first night of
the competition, they made adjustments to the vehicle.
Multiple trips were made to Walmart and Lowe's.
"Everyone was really stressed out," said Max Magera, the
club's president. "We had somewhat of a plan, but we still
weren't sure what we were going to do. We just looked at
the parts we had and the state of the car, and we tried to
figure out the easiest solution to the problem."
22 September 2019
Members of Penn State Behrend's SAE Supermileage team worked
late into the night before the track competition, trying to repair
problems with the vehicle's starter motor and steering system.
Some team members cut new aluminum and steel parts. Some created a
fixture to mount as a base on the vehicle. Others tackled the steering issue.
The next morning, before tech inspection, the team again was forced
to improvise when the starter motor would not work. After some
adjustments, the vehicle was ready for its first run on the track. The
result: 180 mpg.
"That really dampened the mood," Checkeye said. "We were like, 'Is
that missing another zero?'"
Once again, the team relied on its engineering background to make
changes. Team members spent two hours readjusting the throttle cable,
so the vehicle would accelerate better. They also replaced the tires.
The vehicle's efficiency improved over the next two runs: 1,880 mpg,
followed by the competition-winning run of 2,416 mpg.
"That was literally a complete 180 of seeing that 180 up on the board
at first," Checkeye said. "We all felt pretty defeated, so to come out and
put a number like that on the board was just a great feeling."
"On Thursday night, we did not know if we were even going to get a
chance to compete because it took so much energy and effort to make
sure we'd get through tech inspection," Magera said. "So to go out and
actually win the thing, that was just kind of the cherry on top."
Finishing close on the heels of Penn State Behrend was the University
of British Columbia, with a best run of 2,229 mpg.
"Jordan Fong, my co-captain, and I have a combined nine years of
experience in various roles on UBC Supermileage and, as such, much of
our university journey has been intertwined with the team," said Cecilia
Liu. "It's deeply rewarding to see all of our teammates' hard work over
the years culminate in a result that we feel we've earned."
Asked by MOMENTUM what was the most significant engineering
design decision the team made, Liu responded: "The shell was a major
project in terms of both the timeline and resources required; members
on the team began having discussions as early as 2017. Our previous shell
was pushing four years old and had lost a lot of its structural integrity. We
needed a new shell for the 2018-2019 year and set a design goal to match
or best our previous shell's frontal area and drag coefficient and thus
reduce the overall drag as well.
Momentum - September 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - September 2019
Momentum - September 2019
Passing Tech Inspection Proves Difficult for Teams at Sae Clean Snowmobile Challenge
Competition Comes to Mcity
Penn State Behrend Repeats as Champ at 40th Anniversary of Sae Supermileage
Victory for Victoria at Formula Hybrid
Engineering the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
F-16 Anti-Collision Software Now Used in the F-35
Sae 101: Innovations in Mobility Conference
Miscellaneous News for Sae Student Members!
DOSSIER: Samuel Brennan of Millersville University
Navigating the Hiring Process in Industry
Momentum - September 2019 - Momentum - September 2019
Momentum - September 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - September 2019 - Contents
Momentum - September 2019 - Editorial
Momentum - September 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - September 2019 - Student Generation
Momentum - September 2019 - 5
Momentum - September 2019 - 6
Momentum - September 2019 - 7
Momentum - September 2019 - Air Mission
Momentum - September 2019 - 9
Momentum - September 2019 - 10
Momentum - September 2019 - 11
Momentum - September 2019 - Baja Believers
Momentum - September 2019 - 13
Momentum - September 2019 - 14
Momentum - September 2019 - 15
Momentum - September 2019 - Passing Tech Inspection Proves Difficult for Teams at Sae Clean Snowmobile Challenge
Momentum - September 2019 - 17
Momentum - September 2019 - Competition Comes to Mcity
Momentum - September 2019 - 19
Momentum - September 2019 - 20
Momentum - September 2019 - 21
Momentum - September 2019 - Penn State Behrend Repeats as Champ at 40th Anniversary of Sae Supermileage
Momentum - September 2019 - 23
Momentum - September 2019 - Victory for Victoria at Formula Hybrid
Momentum - September 2019 - 25
Momentum - September 2019 - Engineering the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Momentum - September 2019 - F-16 Anti-Collision Software Now Used in the F-35
Momentum - September 2019 - Sae 101: Innovations in Mobility Conference
Momentum - September 2019 - Miscellaneous News for Sae Student Members!
Momentum - September 2019 - DOSSIER: Samuel Brennan of Millersville University
Momentum - September 2019 - 31
Momentum - September 2019 - Navigating the Hiring Process in Industry
Momentum - September 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - September 2019 - Cover4