Students from West Virginia University finished 10th overall at this year’s FutureTruck competition to build thegreenest,most fuel-efficient sport utility vehicle.
WVU ’s vehicle The Exclaim!a hybrid vehicle that runs on both 35 percent soy-based biodiesel fuel and an electric motor powered by a 48-volt batteryplaced second in the Lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions category. WVU students also received the Spirit of the Challenge Award.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison took top honors this year, followed by Pennsylvania State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The awards were handed out Wednesday night (June 16) in Troy, Mich., concluding eight days of testing that measured fuel economy, emissions, acceleration and performance at Ford’s Proving Ground in Romeo, Mich.
The highlight of the competition was probably getting the diesel engine running,said WVU FutureTruck Team Captain Mark Jacobs, a mechanical and aerospace engineering senior from Dayton, Ohio.It was a great feeling. Everyone in the pit clapped for us.
FutureTruck, sponsored by Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Department of Energy and others, challenges students to re-engineer an SUV to improve fuel economy by 25 percent and reduce emissions while maintaining the vehicle’s performance, utility and safety.
Students may employ a variety of cutting-edge technologies including advanced propulsion systems, lightweight materials, hybrid electric design strategies and alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol and biodiesel.
This competition helps develop tomorrow’s engineers by giving students a unique, hands-on opportunity to work with and explore clean, fuel-efficient technologies,said Al Kammerer, Ford’s executive director for SUVs.These are the engineers who will lead the automotive industry in the 21st century.
Besides Jacobs, other leaders of WVU ’s team are co-captain Steve Herron of Fairmont; hybrid team captain Robert Kern of Alexandria, Va.; controls team captain Eric McCormick of Baltimore; and power train team captain Taylor Glotfelty of McHenry, Md.
Other team members are Clayton Ewen of Wichita, Kan.; Kevin Groll of Pittsburgh; Kenneth Hershberger of Clearville, Pa.; Ryan Hodges and Derek Smith, both of Huntington; Adrienne Hypes of Lewisburg; Christopher Judy of Arthur; Scott Logsdon and Howard Mearns, both of Morgantown; Raymond McFarland of Inwood; Ryan McWhorter of Clarksville, Md.; Eric Moody of Parsons; Kuntal Vora Mumbaio of India; Adam Paff of Summersville; Ryan Plummely of Pliny; Matthew Rutherford of Orlando, W.Va.; Steven Seachman of Wheeling; Christian Shaffer and Bryan Wimer, both of Weston; David Sikorski of Ellicott, Md.; and Christopher Sunderlan of Fredonia, Pa.
They are all mechanical and aerospace engineering students or graduates with the exception of Hypes, who is a graduate student in public administration.
Nigel Clark, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, is the team’s faculty adviser.
Additional background on the competition is online at www.futuretruck.org .