1994-03-01

The NGV Challenge - Student Participation, Faculty Involvement, and Costs 940556

Automotive design projects offer an outstanding opportunity for students to obtain practical experience in engineering design. Over the last three years student groups have competed in one such project, The Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge, which involved converting a pickup truck to be fueled by natural gas. This paper reports a survey of faculty advisors involved with the project at the competing universities. Fifteen students were typically involved in the project at each university participating in the competition. Five or six were usually “key” to the project. Usually faculty advisors had a research interest in automotive engineering or alternate fuels, and they often incorporated the project into a design course. Although the funding level for such a design project varied substantially, the typical funding level for one year was about $25,000, most of which came from local sponsors. Faculty advisors often commented on the educational value of the project and their satisfaction in working closely with students.

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