Super Eagle 2003



Margie Yu
Public Affairs Spec.
(323) 343-3047

of Events

Cal State L.A.
Supermileage Vehicle
is Among Top 10
in North America

In the tradition of its ecologically responsible Solar Eagle “cousins,” the fuel-efficient Cal State L.A. Supermileage Vehicle, Super Eagle, distinguished itself in a North American competition meant to spur students to think outside the box, discover the field of alternative energy, and set new world fuel economy records.

The Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) North American Supermileage® competition was held at the Eaton Corporation proving grounds in Marshall, Michigan. Cal State L.A.’s Super Eagle came in 6th in a field of 27 cars from colleges and universities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

While people in L.A. were experiencing 90+ degree weather, the Super Eagle team members were enduring cold, rain and wind in Marshall, which is near the Canadian border. “The team did an excellent job overcoming many obstacles and getting the vehicle together for this competition,” noted Jim Ettaro (Technology), the team’s faculty advisor. “We were the first car to tech-in, received vehicle number one, and pole position.” According to Ettaro, the competition was very close, with only a drop of fuel separating some of the competitors. The team is already planning improvements to next year’s vehicle such as a more sophisticated electronic engine/vehicle management system, a more aerodynamic composite body and a higher efficiency engine design.

The top 13 performing cars—those that received more than 200 mpg—were products of the University of British Columbia, Canada (927 mpg); UC Berkeley (837 mpg); Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montréal, Canada (747 mpg); Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada (740 mpg); CSU Chico (732 mpg); Cal State L.A. (714 mpg); University of Windsor, Canada (631 mpg); Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia (625 mpg); University of Massachusetts, Amherst (544 mpg); Penn State (539 mpg); University of Toronto, Canada (285 mpg); Youngstown State, Ohio (254 mpg); and Université Laval, Québec, Canada (204 mpg).

Team members were Gina Parodi, technology, (now post-grad in mechanical engineering), Torrance; De San, mechanical engineering, junior, Rosemead; Gerson Hernandez, mechanical engineering, junior, Los Angeles; Charles Johnson, technology, senior, San Diego; Steven Spikes, electrical engineering, junior, Glendora; Long Diep, technology, senior, Rosemead; Michael Duffy, business administration-accounting, freshman, Los Angeles; and Chris Wollonciej, technology, senior, Sunland.

The Supermileage® competition, sponsored by The Society of Automotive Engineers, Briggs and Stratton and the Eaton Corporation, provides engineering and technology students with a challenging design project that involves the development and construction of a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle. Vehicles are powered by a small four-cycle engine donated by Briggs & Stratton. Students have the opportunity to set a world fuel economy record and increase public awareness of fuel economy.

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