Advanced Motorsports: Creating the Future of the Vehicle and Mobility Industry

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (5)
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Why This Project Is Important 

Advanced Motorsports (AMS) helps to develop the engineers, leaders, and researchers who can address future challenges facing the automotive and transportation sectors. AMS is much more than building prototype vehicles and competing against other schools for bragging rights; ultimately it’s about developing talent to address the grand challenges of energy efficiency, energy security, and climate change.

Project Description 

AMS is a collaboration of four Enterprise teams at Michigan Tech: Blizzard Baja, Clean Snowmobile, Formula SAE, and Supermileage Systems. Each team is entirely student-led, managed, and structured—much like a vehicle development company in the private sector. Four faculty advisors along with liaisons and technical experts from industry provide coaching and feedback throughout the year.

The AMS teams complete several vehicle research and development projects each year and compete in SAE’s Collegiate Design Series along with dozens of teams from around the world. While each team has unique vehicle and competition goals, the AMS structure encourages knowledge and resource sharing to facilitate better solutions to relevant automotive and transportation challenges, such as: lightweight vehicle structures, advanced engine management/control strategies, advanced chassis and suspension design, and noise/hydrocarbon emissions reductions. Examples of current projects include: carbon fiber composite chassis designs, autonomous GPS-based engine controls, a hydraulic hybrid energy storage and recovery system, zero-emissions snowmobile development, and lean combustion strategies.

Each AMS Enterprise team will represent Michigan Tech in SAE competitions this spring. They will gain valuable feedback on their research and development efforts that will feed into next year’s project plans. Imagine an all-electric snowmobile that could eventually be used to study the effects of climate change on the polar ice cap or a single passenger vehicle that can travel from Houghton to Orlando on a gallon of gas. While many will continue simply to imagine and wonder, AMS students have chosen to roll up their sleeves and turn their imagination into reality.

Meet the Researchers

Rick Berkey

I am a Professor of Practice in the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology Dept. (MMET) and serve as the Enterprise Program Director, housed in the Pavlis Honors College (PHC). I advise the Supermileage Systems Enterprise, one of four teams under Michigan Tech Advanced Motorsports. I also teach two courses in Lean/Six Sigma methods as a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Prior to Michigan Tech, I spent twelve years in industry in various roles including product development, materials, program management, operations, and Lean/Six Sigma/Quality. I've worked in the automotive, commercial vehicle, and consumer product sectors and have authored/co-authored ten patents in the area of automotive filtration products/systems.

LinkedIn Profile:

James De Clerck

Jim De Clerck is a Professor of Practice in the MEEM Department at Michigan Tech. Prior to joining the Michigan Tech faculty in 2009, Jim worked at the GM Noise and Vibration Center in Milford, Michigan. Jim currently advises the Michigan Tech FSAE Team and teaches classes on engineering design and structural dynamics.

Brett Hamlin

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Jason Blough

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of $10,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $84
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Vehicle development projects—carbon fiber/composite body and chassis development, electric snowmobile batteries and power management system, closed loop pneumatic shifting, continuously variable transmission fabrication, advanced engine controls, and navigation system
  • Competition Travel—Blizzard Baja team travel to Tennessee Tech University; Supermileage team travel to Eaton Proving Grounds, Marshall, Michigan; Formula team travel to Barrie Molson Center, Barrie, Ontario
  • Test equipment—engine dynamometer upgrades

$1 1 Funder

Thank you email/letter and receipt acknowledging tax-deductible status of your donation

$50 0 Funders

The above, plus your name listed on the AMS sponsor website

$100 4 Funders

All the above, plus choice of either one Michigan Tech Advanced Motorsports T-shirt or hat

$500 0 Funders

All the above, plus electronic copies of the team's SAE design reports

$1,000 0 Funders

All the above, plus your name/company logo on one AMS vehicle of choice

$5,000 0 Funders

All the above, plus your name/company logo on all four AMS competition vehicles

$10,000 0 Funders

All the above, plus your name/logo on the AMS team trailer

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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.