Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- July 12, 2004

CSULA Super Eagle - First in the Nation, Second in the World in SAE Supermileage Competition

CSULA students get better mileage! Carrying on the California State University, Los Angeles tradition of national #1 award-winning student-built alternative-energy vehicles, the Super Eagle-CSULA's newest competitive supermileage car-beat 39 entries from the U.S. and Canada in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) international SupermileageŽ competition in Michigan in June.

Besting cars from UC campuses to specialized technology institutes, the superbly-engineered car achieved a record 1,615 mpg.

"You could get to Las Vegas for 29˘ and Sacramento for 55˘ on that kind of mileage!" emphasized associate dean and electrical engineering professor Martin Roden, echoing the exhilaration of the entire College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.

James Ettaro, associate professor of technology, has been the project's faculty advisor and guiding force since his arrival on campus in 1997. Recognized by SAE as 2004 Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year, Ettaro teaches and conducts research in power, energy and transportation and manages the Power-Energy-Transportation program housed in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology. He is currently working to bring a hydrogen fueling station to the CSULA campus.

Five years of competing and five modifications later, the 2004 team had a winner, with significant changes to the advanced electronic fuel injection system, aerodynamic carbon fiber-Kevlar-aluminum composite body, and ultra high efficiency engine.

Student team members represented technology and engineering disciplines (and an accounting major fascinated with automotive technology). They included: Sender De La Roca (industrial technology); Long Diep (industrial technology), backup driver; Michael Duffy (accounting); Douglas Hall (industrial technology); Gerson Hernandez (mechanical engineering); Brian Ho (industrial technology); Jeff Kay (industrial technology); Gina Parodi (mechanical engineering); Chris Reid (mechanical engineering); Priscilla Ruiz (industrial technology), backup driver; De San (mechanical engineering), primary driver; Steven Spikes (electrical engineering); Refugio Trejo (mechanical engineering); Akilesh Vedartham (mechanical engineering); Juan Villanueva (industrial technology) and Chris Wollonciej (industrial technology).

The project received financial support from CSULA's Instructionally-Related Activity (IRA) funds, CSULA's Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI), Honeywell, SMC Pneumatics, Nissan Motors Corporation, the SoCal section of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Cardinal Industrial Finishes, and Bosch.

On Thursday, July 22, at noon, an all-campus welcome home celebration and party honoring the Super Eagle will begin with a parade starting at Salazar Hall and ending at the Free Speech Area. Catch the campus spirit -enjoy the Sno-Cones and popcorn and meet the team!

The Society of Automotive Engineers has more than 84,000 members-engineers, business executives, educators, and students from more than 97 countries-who share information and exchange ideas for advancing the engineering of mobility systems.

The Supermileage® competition provides engineering, technology and other 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. Students have the opportunity to set a world fuel economy record and increase public awareness of fuel economy. Engines are donated by Briggs & Stratton.

Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323) 343-3044

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