Greener and Cleaner: Building a Better Snowmobile

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (11)
Views (2,006)

Why This Project Is Important 

Designing for the environment is one of the most important factors when engineering any new vehicle—trucks, motorcycles, off-road vehicles (and snowmobiles) included. Noise and gaseous emissions are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, all while consumers require increasing levels of fuel efficiency. This project requires future engineers to creatively meet these demands—balancing environmental concerns with efficiency optimization.

Project Description 

The Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC)—held annually on Michigan Technological University's campus—is a competition-based educational program with a goal of exposing young students from engineering, business, and marketing curriculums to a complex design project. In addition to learning the environmental concerns that vehicle manufacturers must use as design constraints, the project requires organization, planning, and marketing skills to complete successfully. Teams complete technical papers describing new ways to improve snowmobile noise and emissions levels. To date, more than 3,000 students have participated, and 50 papers have been written—with the snowmobile industry taking notice and producing better designs. Many now-commonplace snowmobile technologies were introduced at CSC events. This is the only green snowmobile competition that provides a real-world, hands-on vehicle platform to display participant ideas and solutions. Your donations will help us establish awards for categories such as:

  • lowest noise;
  • lowest gaseous emissions;
  • innovation;
  • best design;
  • sportsmanship;
  • safety; or
  • fuel economy.


The 2016 Clean Snowmobile Challenge will be held March 7-12, 2016.

Meet the Researcher

Jay Meldrum

Jay S. Meldrum has served as the Executive Director of Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center (KRC), in Houghton, Michigan, since July 1997. KRC is a soft-money research arm of Michigan Tech University and employs approximately 30 scientists and engineers to provide a wide range of applied research services to clients in government and industry. Research expenditures of KRC are approximately $8 MM annually.
The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is the Keweenaw Research Center's primary sponsor, with several active R&D contracts now under way. Projects involve vehicle mobility studies including track development, the use of new composite materials, noise-and-vibration studies, military mine route clearance systems, winter vehicle testing, and research in survivability design and testing.
Meldrum is an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and has served on several committees and boards including the SAE Engineering Education Board, the University Programs Committee, the Ground Vehicle Reliability Committee, the Noise and Vibration Conference Committee, the Membership Board and is the past Organizing Chair for the SAE Small Engines Technology Conference. Meldrum is the lead organizer for the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC), a Collegiate Design Series Competition that promotes the redesign of snowmobiles for lower emissions, lower noise output, and better fuel economy. This week-long event brings...

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of $10,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $755
days left

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Award Clean Snowmobile Challenge participants for their hard work
  • Create new award categories

$1 1 Funder

Receipt acknowledging tax-deductible status of your donation.

$50 0 Funders

The above, plus a Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) commemorative glass coffee mug.

$100 1 Funder

All of the above, plus a CSC commemorative hat.

$250 2 Funders

All of the above, plus a CSC commemorative vest or jacket.

$500 0 Funders

All of the above, plus two tickets to the CSC awards banquet (March 12, 2016).

$700 1 Funder

All of the above, plus four tickets to the CSC awards banquet (March 12, 2016).

$1,000 6 Funders

All of the above, plus a commemorative framed picture of the winning team.

$2,500 0 Funders

All of the above, plus the ability to name a special award for the competition.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.