The Northern Arizona University Society of Automotive Engineers continues to fuel the desire for high-efficiency cars, demonstrating super-high mileage during intensive competition.

A team of students from the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences finished 15th out of 30 schools from around the world in the recent 2010 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition in Houston.

The Shell Eco-Marathon offers students interested in technology, energy, and transportation a unique hands-on opportunity to compete and showcase their innovations. Competing vehicles are evaluated on their overall design, performance, and fuel efficiency. NAU’s team reached over 760 miles per gallon.

“I like the project because it intersects the idealism of the green energy movement with the realism of engineering and product realization—product analysis, building and testing,” said John Tester, associate professor of mechanical engineering, adding that it takes a lot of work to go from a concept to implementation. “It’s commendable for students to take the extra time to put this together, especially when they are in such a challenging major already.”

Team members include Tanya Gallagher, Derek BlashLauren GreenMatt FantThomas Cothrun and Paul Owen. The faculty adviser is Brent Nelson with support from Ernesto Penado, chair of Mechanical Engineering.

M.C. Gill, the world’s largest composite manufacturer, donated high strength honeycomb panels for the construction of the super mileage vehicle.

Click here to watch video of the team produced by Bader TV News Services.