Powertrain engineering rolls on in Detroit, Michigan, despite troubles for the automotive 'home teams.' Students at Southeastern High School and the Crockett Technical High School, for example, believe they’ve developed a new piston that’s at once inexpensive, has fewer emissions, and facilitates building four-cylinder engines that return up to 40 mpg. They and others are competing for the $5,000 prize sponsored by NextEnergy, a non-profit alternative-fuel advocate. The students will present the results of their projects and findings in May. More details can be found here.

And in February, students from San Diego State University debuted a biodiesel engine as their entry to the Department of Energy and General Motors’ “Challenger X” contest. The engine, a turbocharged 1.9-liter, is capable of running solo or with an electric motor. It is believed that the resulting hybrid will not only meet the EPA’s increasingly strict requirements, it will also generate 400 horsepower. The students will demonstrate their engine to GM this summer. More details can be found here.

[Source: Detroit Free Press, Fox 6 News]


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