The 2019 Minuteman Supermileage Team took fifth place out of 30 international teams in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) annual Supermileage® Competition, held on June 6 and 7 in Marshall, Michigan, at the Eaton Corporation Marshall Proving Grounds. The UMass team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department also won the competition’s Best Design Execution Award.
“Our new composite body was a hit and will position the program well for the next several years of competition,” said MIE Supermileage Team faculty advisor Robert Daniello after the competition. “I would like to thank all the students that contributed to make Supermileage a success this year.”
Daniello gave special thanks to Alex MacIsaac and Mike Tominsky, “whose cleverness, attention to detail, high standards of craftsmanship, and willingness to spend all the spring semester's weekends at our composite’s sponsor in Charlestown (and three weeks of nearly continuous work at the end!) allowed us to complete the task, and Shadi Bavar, who stepped up to drive successfully with zero time for practice.”
According to the SAE website, “The Supermileage competition provides engineering and technology students with a challenging design project that involves the development and construction of a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle. Vehicles are powered by a small four-cycle engine.”
The website also noted that “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.”
The engineering design goal for the SAE Supermileage competition is to develop and construct a fuel-conserving vehicle that complies with competition rules. On competition day, each vehicle runs the specified course to obtain the highest combined kilometers per liter (miles per gallon) rating, and students are exposed to a design segment consisting of a written report and verbal presentation.
“Students have the opportunity to set a world fuel economy record and increase public awareness of fuel economy,” the SAE concluded. The event has been held annually since 1980. (July 2019)