Enhancement of Engineering Education through University Competition-Based Events 2006-32-0049
Engineering education at the University level is enhanced by competition-based projects. The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a prime example of how competition-based engineering education benefits the small engines industry and improves the engineering talent pool of the nation in general. For the past several decades, SAE has encouraged young engineers to compete in designing off road vehicles (Baja SAE ®), small race cars (Formula SAE ®), remote control airplanes (Aero Design ®), high mileage vehicles (Supermileage ®) and robots (Walking Robot ®). Now a new competition, the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge ™ (CSC), based on designing a cleaner and quieter snowmobile has led to a new path for young engineers to explore the challenges of designing engines that emit less pollution and noise.
The paper will summarize the results of the most recent Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2006 and document the successes of the past seven years of the Challenge. These successes include CSC alumni who are now employees of snowmobile companies as well as industries related to small engines. Technologies from CSC have also been adopted by the snowmobile industry and have provided important data for responsible management of our national parks. Motivation for successful engineering education projects as well as valuable future networking opportunities add to the value of competition-based education. The paper will also reference other competition-based education programs such as the FIRST Robotic Competition and discuss how they enhance engineering education.