Natural Resources Canada Hosts Challenge X Student Competition Fall Workshop
October 16, 2006
Some of North America's brightest engineering students were in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in mid-October for a workshop hosted by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The students are participating in the third year of the Challenge X competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, NRCan and more than 30 additional sponsors. Challenge X student teams compete against each other to develop energy-efficient vehicles that will reduce their environmental impact.
"Competitions like Challenge X help today’s students become tomorrow’s engineers," said Royal Galipeau, M.P. for Ottawa–Orléans on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. "And I am glad that this weekend’s workshop is being held during National Science and Technology Week, which is dedicated to celebrating science and encouraging students to choose careers in science and engineering."
The competition challenges teams of engineering students from 17 top North American universities to re-engineer a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox, without sacrificing performance, utility or safety. Previous years had students modelling and testing vehicle powertrains and subsystems, and then integrating their powertrain solutions into the Chevy Equinox. In year three, the students will further refine and validate their vehicles.
"The goal of Challenge X is to integrate vehicle technologies and appropriate fuels to minimize total environmental impact and build on a sustainable transportation future," said Ed Wall of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a key organizer of the competition. "The results of this program are of extreme relevance to consumers in North America as we seek to reduce dependence on imported oil."
The Challenge X students combine their academics with hands-on learning in engineering practices that are modelled after the GM Global Vehicle Development process.
"Challenge X students are getting a terrific introduction to our industry," said Tom Stephens, Group Vice President, GM Powertrain. "They are confronting the same challenges that our GM engineers face every day, while developing high-performance vehicles that consume less fuel and produce fewer emissions."
Two of the vehicles from previous years were on display during the National Science and Technology Week FunFest, held at NRCan’s Booth Street Complex, Sunday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Challenge X sponsors include the headline sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, Platinum sponsors: Natural Resources Canada, The MathWorks, National Instruments, Freescale Semiconductor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation; Gold sponsors: National Science Foundation, and BP; Silver sponsors: Cobasys, Chevron, Johnson Controls - SAFT Advanced Power Solutions, Ballard Power Systems, Michelin North America, Sensors and Renewable Fuels Association; Bronze: Vector CANTech, Caterpillar, Intrepid Control Systems, Hydrogenics Corporation, Mototron Corporation, Igus, XM Radio, OnStar and First Technology.
The 17 university teams competing in Challenge X include: Michigan Technological University, Mississippi State University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, Texas Tech University, University of Akron, University of California, Davis, University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, University of Texas at Austin, University of Tulsa, University of Waterloo, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.
Story courtesy of Natural Resources Canada.