SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge
For the second year, Michigan Tech hosted the Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, an effort to create quieter machines that generate fewer emissions. The week-long event includes endurance, emissions, performance, and acceleration tests.
Students work with research professor Roger Turpening on seismic imaging projects.
Students work with research professor Roger Turpening on seismic imaging projects.
“We ran solid in every area. Everything we did, we did well.”

Student Shorts

Aerospace Enterprise Takes a Bronze at Nanosat 3

Michigan Tech's Aerospace Enterprise excelled at the University Nanosat 3 competition, finishing third among 13 teams, many representing well-established aerospace engineering programs.

The team's "Husky Sat" satellite placed third in the event and was one of only three entries judged to be "flyable," or capable of successfully completing its mission.

In the competition, which kicked off two years ago, all the teams set out to design and build very small satellites, or nanosats, with the goal of seeing them launched into orbit. The sponsors were the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Labs Space Vehicles Directorate.

Michigan Tech's Enterprise Program gives teams of students the opportunity to participate in real-world settings to solve engineering, manufacturing, and design problems supplied by industry partners. The program prepares students for the challenges that await them after their college careers, and gives new perspectives to sponsors, businesses, and organizations who participate as partners.

Civil Engineering Concrete Canoe Dominates

Michigan Tech's concrete canoe team swept all four categories in the 2005 regional competition, taking first place overall and earning a trip to the national event.

Not only did the Tech team win every race "by a lot," according to Bob Baillod, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department, but they had the top design report (both written and oral).

The concrete canoe competition is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering. Michigan Tech has a string of successes in the regional dating back to 1996.

Tech Fourth at FutureTruck

Michigan Tech finished its final FutureTruck in the money, coming in fourth in a field of 15 schools hand-picked for the prestigious national engineering competition.

"We ran solid in every area," said the team's advisor, Associate Professor John Beard (MEEM). "Everything we did, we did well." In addition to the fourth-place prize of $3,000, the team earned two $500 awards for finishing third in both the Delphi Advanced Powertrain Controls and the Math Works Modeling competitions.

In FutureTruck, teams of students from 15 top North American universities re-engineer stock Ford Explorers to achieve lower emissions and at least 25 percent higher fuel economy without sacrificing the performance, utility, safety and affordability consumers want.

For all nine years of the FutureCar and FutureTruck competitions, MTU's teams have based their design strategy on a hybrid gas-electric engine. They consistently finished in the top half and while working with a Ford Explorer, always ranked among the top five.

Michigan Tech is the only university in Michigan to participate in FutureTruck. This year's winner was the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with Pennsylvania State University finishing second and the Georgia Institute of Technology finishing third.

Business Students Show Portfolio Prowess

Shhh. Don't tell these students that the stock market is in turmoil.

A group of Michigan Tech undergraduates, investing $750,000 in real money, managed to significantly beat the market indexes in 2004. The money is part of the university's endowment.

As they wrapped up their one-year stint as money managers, the students earned a 19.34 percent return over the academic year, as opposed to the 9.71 percent return on their portfolio benchmark.

The Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP), in Michigan Tech's School of Business and Economics, not only beat the market indexes but also outperformed 95 percent of all public mutual funds last year.

Each year, the portfolio team competes in the RISE Symposium, where teams demonstrate their market prowess. In the four-year history of the RISE program, the Michigan Tech team has reached the semi-finals three times, including their victory in 2002 and a third place in 2003.

Michigan Tech Rises to Challenge X

Michigan Tech is one of a handful of US and Canadian universities selected to take part in the latest advanced vehicle technology competition, Challenge X.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility challenges engineering students to explore vehicle solutions that minimize energy consumption and reduce emissions while maintaining the vehicle's utility and consumer appeal.

Teams from 17 schools were chosen from more than 100 applicants to participate in the competition, which replaces FutureTruck.

Students will spend the first year of the three-year Challenge X designing their vehicle on the computer. The second year, they will receive the Equinox, a GM sport utility vehicle, and begin putting their plans into action.

Challenge X will be part of Michigan Tech's Enterprise Program, in which interdisciplinary student teams solve industry problems or participate in high-end competitions.

Robotics Team Earns High Praise

Their robot design was "elegant" and their spirit "vibrant."

That's high praise from the judges and earned a team of high school and Michigan Tech students the prestigious Delphi Driving Tomorrow's Technology Award at the 2004 Detroit Regional FIRST Robotics competition.

The team, dubbed Team 857-Superior Robowoks, also finished in third place with its alliance partners at the event. The team included 15 Michigan Tech students as mentors and 15 Houghton High School Students.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international competition that brings together experts and young people to solve an engineering design problem. The local team is one of a small minority that relies on college participants.

The college mentors are all part of the Michigan Tech Robotic Systems Enterprise. Most participated in FIRST Robotics as high school students.