Straight from their newsletter:
NEW BOISE STATE STUDENT CLUB ‘GREENSPEED’ AIMS TO BUILD AND RACE WORLD’S FASTEST VEGETABLE OIL-POWERED VEHICLE
Boise State University is home to more than 200 student clubs, but never has there been one quite like Greenspeed. Fueled by the intrepid vision of six students and two recent graduates in the College of Engineering, its purpose is to design, build and race the world’s fastest vegetable oil-powered vehicle at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week 2011.
Founder Dave Schenker is a mechanical engineering student whose own car is modified to run on vegetable oil. For the past two years he has been recruiting for Greenspeed, which became a sanctioned university organization in June. The club comprises engineering undergraduates Jozey Mitcham, Adrian Rothenbühler and Adam Spiegelman, graduate student Cory Sparks, alumni John Pasley and Jason Brotherton, and former Boise State student Brett Keys, who helped found the project and remains a contributor.
“Since the beginning we have been overcoming challenges and pushing the boundaries of what is possible for clubs at Boise State,” said Schenker, who hopes to coordinate with University Dining Services to repurpose its supply of used vegetable oil. “While the thrill of doing something that has not been done is a huge incentive for us, Greenspeed’s purpose is to provide students the opportunity to gain real life experience working in an interdisciplinary environment while contributing to the global conversation about sustainable technologies.”
The club spent the summer researching everything from design factors and fabrication costs to the chemistry of burning biofuel and the physical demands of driving a race vehicle. They recently attended Bonneville’s Speed Week 2010 as “rookies” and made quite a splash, and they hope to make an even bigger one next summer with a groundbreaking entry in the Diesel Truck category.
“A separate category for biofuel doesn’t exist, but it should,” said Schenker. “By bringing pure vegetable oil to the race we can help familiarize the public with it and show them how well it works.”
The current land speed record for a diesel truck with the same size engine the club plans to use is a little over 215 mph. The dream of Greenspeed is to break that record, sending a message about the power of imagination and renewable resources.
“In the classroom, we teach the basics and give the students what they need to implement engineering solutions,” said John Gardner, the club’s adviser and Boise State’s associate vice president for energy research, policy and campus sustainability. “This project is giving them the opportunity to take that technical knowledge and combine it with leadership, management, presentation skills and just plain hard work to achieve a difficult task over a long period of time. I can’t imagine better preparation for the real world.”
Make sure to check out the GreenSpeed interview on The Checkered Flag. Part 1 is published on September 1st, part 2 on the 2nd. http://tinyurl.com/tcfitunes