RIT SAE Clean Snowmobile Team

RIT SAE Clean Snowmobile Team

About the Competition

As part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series, the SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) is an engineering design competition for collegiate SAE teams. The CSC seeks to challenge SAE student members through the reengineering of an existing snowmobile in order to reduce emissions and noise. The teams use their modified snowmobiles to compete in a variety of events that provide similar tests to those seen in industry. The tests challenge the improvement of: emissions, noise, fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, static display, cold start and a design presentation. Unlike other SAE collegiate competitions, the CSC makes changes to the competition each year to present new engineering challenges. This allows students to explore different aspects of automotive practices, and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the vehicle. CSC is primarily an engine competition with an underlying theme of clean engineering.

Competition Description

Total Points(1550)

Engineering Design Paper(100):

An in-depth description of the snowmobile conversion concept, design, and implementation. This portion allows for the exploration of student understanding of the engineering design process.


Taking into consideration the manufacturer’s product price, students are able to demonstrate a further understanding of how engineering is integrated into the market and how cost is calculated.

Lab Emissions(300):

Brake specific emissions are measured using laboratory-grade instrumentation and a dynamometer. An E-Score will be calculated based on THC, CO and NOx emissions.

In Service Emission and Fuel Economy(100):

A weight per distance measurement of the vehicles’ emissions are tested. Different gaseous emissions will be tested through multiple speeds and operating conditions on a predetermined course.

Oral Presentation(100):

A ten minute oral presentation of the logic behind the conversions made on the sled, followed by a five minute question and answer period.

Fuel Economy and Endurance(200):

Teams travel 100 miles on a trail on a full tank of gas, following a leading judge. Fuel consumption is then measured and points are tabulated based on fuel economy.

Static Display(50):

A mock sales pitch will be designed in order to convince snowmobile industry experts and professionals to purchase and use the snowmobile. It tests the marketability of the sled and team knowledge.


The test consists of a 500ft acceleration test from a standing stop, driven by a student team member.

Objective Handling and Drivability(75):

Student drivers have 2 opportunities to compete on a slalom style course. The agility and maneuverability of the sled is tested.

Subjective Handling and Drivability(75):

Professional snowmobile riders will drive each sled during a course designed to evaluate ergonomic qualities. Drivers will give a ranking of the maneuverability and agility of the sleds.

Cold Start(50):

Snowmobiles must start and move forward within 20 seconds after being cold-soaked overnight.

Objective Noise and Subjective Noise(300):

Determining the peak amplitude-weighted sound pressure level generated by the snowmobile during maximum acceleration, both high and low frequency noise is measured. Current industry standards are used to determine overall noise emissions.