Behrend wins Supermileage Challenge, Sets New U.S. Record

Every year, car manufacturers meticulously work to improve upon the previous year’s vehicle models. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Club at Penn State Behrend takes the same approach.

“Last year, we decided to change over to a fuel-injected engine, so we really focused on refining that for this year,” said Scott Delaney, a Clarion native and president of the SAE Club. “We were fortunate that ANSYS sponsored us and provided us with their engineering simulation and 3D design software for a year. That really made a difference as it allowed us to simulate the operation of the engine where we could see the inside of the engine during its cycle. We probably spent between 1,500 to 3,000 hours just working on the engine.”

The increased focus paid off. Behrend’s SAE Club team finished first in this year’s International Supermileage Challenge, which was held in June at Eaton Corporation’s Marshall Proving Grounds test track in Michigan.

The competition challenges teams to create vehicles that squeeze the most mileage out of a single tank of high-octane gasoline. The Behrend vehicle traveled 3,013 miles on one gallon of gas, which was a new U.S. record. The team also placed second in the Design Report Sub-Competition.