LMU Students Create Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Eighteen LMU senior mechanical engineering students recently participated in the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition. The contest challenged students from around the world to create vehicles that will travel the farthest distance with the least amount of fuel. LMU placed 15th among 29 universities. This year marked the second year that Shell organized the competition, and it was LMU’s first year as a participant.
As part of a mechanical engineering design class, the LMU team designed and built an entire vehicle. It was a one-person, highly aerodynamic vehicle. Students were exposed to many of the issues that an engineer faces in the workplace, such as design conceptualization, design changes and manufacturing processes. They also worked closely with many industrial sponsors who provided the components and were the financial contributors of the project.
“Overall, I think it went very well. It was our first year participating in this competition,” said Matthew Siniawski, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. LMU’s entry in the competition had a fuel efficiency of 313.4 miles per gallon. Siniawski says that he plans to continue to incorporate the project into the mechanical engineering curriculum at LMU.