2nd Annual 3D Printed Aircraft Competition: Registration Deadline Jan. 31

Graduate and undergraduate individuals and teams from all universities are invited to participate in the 2nd Annual 3D Printed Aircraft Competition hosted at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Dates and prize details are provided below and in the attached flyer.  Rules and online entry are available at www.uta.edu/mae/events.php

 Registration deadline: January 31

Submission deadline: May 313d aircraft comp

Aircraft check-in date: July 13 by 4:00 pm

Fly-off Date: Saturday, July 14

Location: UTA Maverick Stadium

 Fixed Wing Category

All lifting surfaces must remain fixed

  • Altair Most Innovative Design, $1000 (designs must be received by submission deadline)
  • Longest duration flight, first prize, $1000
  • Longest duration flight, second prize, $500

 Rotary Wing Category

A significant proportion of lift is generated by rotation of components or of the entire body

  • Altair Most Innovative Design, $1000 (designs must be received by submission deadline)
  • Longest duration flight, first prize, $1000
  • Longest duration flight, second prize, $500

 Each team must complete an entry form by the January 31, 2018 registration deadline.

 For questions and sponsorship inquiries, contact Robert Taylor (taylorrm@uta.edu) or Ashfaq Adnan (aadnan@uta.edu)


Fifth Annual Rekhi Innovation Challenge Underway

The fifth annual Rekhi Innovation Challenge kicked off on November 10th. Three Enterprise teams are competing for funding this year: Blue Marble Security, BoardSport Technologies, and Velovations. The Rekhi Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through Michigan Tech’s crowdfunding site, Superior Ideas. The team that raises the most money will receive a monetary match of up to $5,000. Monetary awards for total number of unique visitors, total number of unique funders, most social media engagement, most creative marketing plan, and the first team to raise $1,000 will also be presented to teams at the conclusion of the competition.

Superior Ideas was established in 2012 to help bring university research and public service projects to life. The site uses crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for university research and public service projects that may not qualify for grant funding. The Rekhi Innovation Challenge was developed in collaboration with the Enterprise Program Office and the Vice President for Research Office with support from Michigan Tech alumnus and longtime donor Kanwal Rekhi. Rekhi, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1969.

Enterprise teams that have participated in past challenges include Innovative Global Solutions, Robotics Systems, Supermileage Systems, Aerospace, Blizzard Baja, GEAR and Open Source Hardware. Velovations took first place in the last competition with $2,550 in donations and a match of $2,550 from Rekhi, bringing the grand total to $5,100 in funding for their RENEW-U project. RENEW-U is an ergometer for wheelchair users to exercise upper-extremity muscles in order to improve strength and mobility. Over the last four years, the Rekhi Innovation Challenge has provided over $58,000 in support for 23 different student projects, attracting 267 unique donors.

For this year’s Rekhi Innovation Challenge, Blue Marble Security Enterprise is raising money to reach out to various community members and groups to increase interest in STEM fields among middle and high school students, particularly women. BoardSport Technologies wants to develop a SmartBoard that will track snowboarders via GPS and REECO location to ensure a speedy rescue if caught in an avalanche or lost. Velovations Enterprise is working with a local trails club to design and build a multi-purpose trail groomer with modular parts that can be swapped in the field to accommodate varying conditions.

Blue Marble Security team photo
Blue Marble Security team photo
BoardSport Technologies' SmartBoard
BoardSport Technologies’ SmartBoard
Velovations' Snow Trail Groomer
Velovations’ Snow Trail Groomer

If you’d like to learn more about any of these projects or donate, please visit Superior Ideas. The Rekhi Innovation Challenge will run through March 31, 2018. Help support student innovation and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech by making a donation today.


ITOxygen Enterprise Awarded Additional $10,000 Bonus Funding in Ford C3 Go Further Challenge

From left: Russ Louks, Paul Torola, Zack Lewis, Sarah Blum and Brandon King accepting their check for $10,000 in grant funding
From left: Russ Louks, Brandon King, Zack Lewis, Sarah Blum and Paul Torola accepting a check for $10,000 in additional grant funding from Ford Motor Fund

Michigan Tech’s ITOxygen Enterprise was one of just ten teams nationwide named as winners of the Ford College Community Challenge, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The team was chosen to receive $25,000 in grant money to implement a project working with a local non-profit organization. Following the initial selection process, ITOxygen (ITO) was invited to compete in the 10th Anniversary Go Further bonus round challenge. Representing the Enterprise team, Sarah Blum, Brandon King, Paul Torola, and Zack Lewis, traveled to the Ford world headquarters in Dearborn, MI to compete for a Ford vehicle and additional project funding. The team placed third overall and was awarded an additional $10,000 in grant funding for their project.

Sarah Blum presenting in Dearborn, MI
Sarah Blum presenting in Dearborn, MI

Building upon a Michigan Tech Alumnus’ support for Enterprise teams to engage with local community non-profits that benefit the elderly, ITOxygen’s project is focused on increasing the mobility of the elderly community in the Upper Peninsula. Specifically, the project intends to address issues related to inefficiencies in the medical transport services provided by Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, in Hancock. ITO’s student team met with representatives from Little Brothers this week to discuss the implementation of their proposed medical transportation system and potential uses for the additional $10,000.

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ITOxygen students meet with Little Brothers Executive Director Cathy Kass-Aten and other representatives from the non-profit

Aiming at achieving the goal of Little Brothers of relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly, along with the goals of the Ford C3, the team is developing a medical transportation management system. Currently, Little Brothers has limited flexibility to adapt to frequently changing schedules. This ITOxygen-developed system would allow for efficient utilization of Little Brothers’ volunteer network and resource pool. The management system will create a more flexible and adaptable service, ultimately allowing for the local elderly community to retain their independence and remain in their own homes and still have access to reliable transportation for medical care.

Russ Louks, a professor of practice in Tech’s School of Business and Economics is the advisor for Tech’s team. He explained how the project came about, “Being the advisor for the ITOxygen Enterprise has been an incredible opportunity for me to watch the students grow and mature into IT professionals that can deliver projects that add value to an organization. The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly project, along with the Ford C3 grant and support from an alumnus, takes that a step further. It gives us the opportunity to deliver a project that will have a lasting impact on our community. As our population ages, it is so important that we provide ways for them to stay active in the community, and this project will provide Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly with the tools necessary to assist them for many years to come.”

Rick Berkey, Director of the Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech, highlighted the educational impact of this partnership. “The Ford Motor Company Fund serves as a catalyst for ‘making lives better’ by connecting unmet community needs with financial resources, with students serving as the vital link between the two. What a rewarding opportunity for students in the ITOxygen Enterprise to be able to harness their ideas, energy, and talents for the benefit of our local elderly community. The Ford C3 program’s hands-on approach to building sustainable communities aligns well with the Enterprise Program’s team-based, experiential learning model.” 

From left: Sarah Blum, Zack Lewis, Paul Torola, and Brandon King
From left: Sarah Blum, Zack Lewis, Brandon King, and Paul Torola

This was the tenth year of the Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3). This year’s theme was “Making Lives Better.” Ford C3 is designed to empower college students to develop community-building projects that address local need. Ford C3 works with partners in higher education that are focused on the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Each year up to ten grants are awarded to proposals that identify an unmet community need tied to one of three areas: Driving Social Mobility, Changing the Way People Move through Smart Mobility and Building Sustainable Communities.

About Ford College Community Challenge

Through the Ford College Community Challenge, Ford Motor Company Fund aims to support colleges and universities as they work with students to design and develop tangible community projects that address critical local needs in new ways, with a focus on helping the community become a more sustainable place to work and live.

About Ford Motor Company Fund:

Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford Fund works with community and global partners to advance education, safe driving and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 67 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit https://www.fordblueovalnetwork.org/medical-transportation-management-system-michigan-technological-university.


Enterprise Student Lands Position with Boston Scientific in Ireland

By Amy Karagiannakis

The Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech has increasingly gained national recognition for its ability to provide students with the experiential training and real-world problem-solving that industry wants. Recruiters at the Career Fair recognize Enterprise as a program that prepares undergraduate students for careers in industry by focusing on collaboration, cross-functional teamwork, and leadership. That recognition has expanded to a global level, with the recent job offer to Enterprise student Mario Calabria from Boston Scientific’s facility in Galway, Ireland.

Mario Calabria is a member of the Innovative Global Solutions (IGS) Enterprise and a Mechanical Engineering student at Michigan Tech. IGS focuses on designing affordable products for developing countries through research, reverse engineering, and testing. Members of IGS will take an idea from initial concept to final product through interdisciplinary teamwork and human-centered design thinking. By working with other organizations and programs on campus such as the Pavlis Honors College Global Leadership Pathway, Peace Corps, and International Senior Design, IGS team members are able to personally deliver and implement their products in country.

IGS team photo. Mario Calabria is pictured at the far right.
IGS team photo. Mario Calabria is pictured at the far right.

Calabria collaborated on an IGS project to redesign a low cost ventilator for deployment in third world countries. A typical ventilator costs tens of thousands of dollars and is not a feasible option in economically poorer regions of the world. Calabria, along with his IGS teammates, have been developing a ventilator that performs the same basic life-saving functions, but at a much more affordable price of under $2000. The current IGS team continues to improve on and enhance the ventilator through collaboration with a Ghanaian University and hospital.

IGS at Tech's annual Design Expo. Calabria is first from the left.
IGS at Tech’s annual Design Expo. Calabria is first from the left.

Calabria highlighted his Enterprise experience while he was seeking to secure an internship with Boston Scientific, “I learned a lot about myself, how to motivate people, how to set group goals, and how to move everybody in the same direction at the same pace.” The leadership role that Calabria took on through the IGS project work was of particular interest to the recruiters at Boston Scientific. Calabria accepted the internship last summer, which allowed him to get to know Boston Scientific employees and expand his professional network beyond the Michigan Tech campus.

Calabria’s mother was born and raised in Galway, Ireland, and following the internship with Boston Scientific, Calabria and his family were getting ready to travel to Galway for a family reunion. Calabria reached out to some of his contacts at Boston Scientific and was offered the opportunity to interview and tour the facility in Galway, Ireland. Following the interview, Boston Scientific offered Calabria a full time position in Ireland serving the cardiovascular group that manufactures drug-eluting and biliary stents. Calabria recalls speaking about his Enterprise experience during the interview process, “I do think it played a significant role in my being offered a position.”

Calabria is also a lieutenant on the Michigan Tech Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team. Calabria’s EMS training was put to the test last Thanksgiving when his father suffered a heart attack while mountain biking the Tech trails. Calabria’s quick thinking and the responsiveness of the Tech EMS team saved Mark Calabria’s life. Mario Calabria is expected to graduate this December and is looking forward to his future career with Boston Scientific in Galway, Ireland.


Michigan Tech’s ITOxygen Enterprise receives grant from Ford Motor Company Fund

An Enterprise team from Michigan Tech is one of just ten teams nationwide named as winners of the Ford College Community Challenge, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Tech’s ITOxygen Enterprise was chosen to receive $25,000 in grant money to implement a project working with a local non-profit organization.

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This is the tenth year of the Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3). This year’s theme is “Making Lives Better.” Ford C3 is designed to empower college students to develop community-building projects that address local need. Ford C3 works with partners in higher education that are focused on the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Each year up to ten grants are awarded to proposals that identify an unmet community need tied to one of three areas: Driving Social Mobility, Changing the Way People Move through Smart Mobility and Building Sustainable Communities.

Building upon a Michigan Tech Alumnus’ support for Enterprise teams to engage with local community non-profits that benefit the elderly, ITOxygen’s project is focused on increasing the mobility of the elderly community in the Upper Peninsula. Specifically, the project intends to address issues related to inefficiencies in the medical transport services provided by Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, in Hancock.

Aiming at achieving the goal of Little Brothers of relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly, along with the goals of the Ford C3, the team is seeking to develop a medical transportation management system. Currently, Little Brothers has limited flexibility to adapt to frequently changing schedules. This ITOxygen-developed system would allow for efficient utilization of Little Brothers’ volunteer network and resource pool. The management system will create a more flexible and adaptable service, ultimately allowing for the local elderly community to retain their independence and remain in their own homes and still have access to reliable transportation for medical care.

Russ Louks, a professor of practice in Tech’s School of Business and Economics is the advisor for Tech’s team. He explained how the project came about, “Being the advisor for the ITOxygen Enterprise has been an incredible opportunity for me to watch the students grow and mature into IT professionals that can deliver projects that add value to an organization. The Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly project, along with the Ford C3 grant and support from an alumnus, takes that a step further. It gives us the opportunity to deliver a project that will have a lasting impact on our community. As our population ages, it is so important that we provide ways for them to stay active in the community, and this project will provide Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly with the tools necessary to assist them for many years to come.”

Rick Berkey, Director of the Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech, highlighted the educational impact of this partnership. “The Ford Motor Company Fund serves as a catalyst for ‘making lives better’ by connecting unmet community needs with financial resources, with students serving as the vital link between the two. What a rewarding opportunity for students in the ITOxygen Enterprise to be able to harness their ideas, energy, and talents for the benefit of our local elderly community. The Ford C3 program’s hands-on approach to building sustainable communities aligns well with the Enterprise Program’s team-based, experiential learning model.” 

About Ford College Community Challenge

Through the Ford College Community Challenge, Ford Motor Company Fund aims to support colleges and universities as they work with students to design and develop tangible community projects that address critical local needs in new ways, with a focus on helping the community become a more sustainable place to work and live.

About Ford Motor Company Fund:

Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford Fund works with community and global partners to advance education, safe driving and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 67 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit https://www.fordblueovalnetwork.org/medical-transportation-management-system-michigan-technological-university.


Aerospace Enterprise goes to Small Sat

By Amy Karagiannakis

Student representatives from Michigan Tech’s Aerospace Enterprise recently traveled to Utah to attend the 31st annual Small Satellite Conference. Michigan Tech Aerospace is a collection of research, development, and educational laboratories dedicated to advancing spacecraft technology. The AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites or Small Sat, as it is commonly referred to, is held annually at the Utah State University campus in Logan, Utah. The conference was established in 1987 to provide a forum for people from the military, science, and academic fields to discuss small satellites and advancements in small spacecraft technology. Although there is no standard for what satellite is considered ‘small’, it is generally accepted to include any satellites weighing up to 250 kg or approximately 550 lbs.

IMG-1IMG-5Helayna Barrett, Richard Bennet, Jared Burbey, Joe Chen, Trevor Cretney, Mitch Dzikowicz, Marcello Guadagno, Michael Patrick, Davis Russcher, and Sarah Wade were among the Aerospace Enterprise students that attended the conference August 5th-10th. This group of students borrowed a Tech van to drive across the country 26 hours to Small Sat. They were able to make pit stops at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks along the way.IMG-4

Small Sat is internationally recognized and attracts 800 organizations, 190 commercial exhibits, and students from 24 different universities. While at the conference, Burbey and Guadagno presented to a crowd of approximately 200 students and reviewers from the aerospace industry on one the team’s current missions, Auris Microsatellite. Auris, which is latin for “the ear”, listens to radio frequency emissions from spacecraft in a high orbit and spatially maps the power radiated from these satellites to analyze how it will impact ground receivers. Funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite Program, Auris is a small, low-cost technology demonstrator that is designed to monitor and attribute telecommunications signals that may interfere with a congested space environment.

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Small Sat provided an excellent environment for Aerospace students to network with potential vendors and stakeholders from across the industry, as well as some Tech and Enterprise alumni. This year’s keynote speaker was Robert Cardillo, Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Conference attendees were also given the opportunity to tune into talks from U.S. astronauts via a live International Space Station stream. Social events during and after conference hours provided students with numerous opportunities to network with industry professionals and scholars. “It was a reverse career fair for us. Companies at times reached out to us, asking our team members to apply,” shared Marcello Guadagno.

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Overall, students really enjoyed the conference, found it to be a rewarding experience, and worth the long road trip. Dr. Brad King, Aerospace Enterprise Faculty Advisor, plans to send students back to Small Sat next year to reconnect and explore potential new projects for the team.


Enterprise Scholarship Opportunities for Fall 2017!

The Enterprise Program has two scholarship opportunities available for students below.

  1. Carnahan Enterprise Scholarships: The Enterprise Program is now accepting Fall 2017 applications for the Carnahan Enterprise Scholarship. This scholarship is open to Business and Humanities majors who enroll in the Enterprise Program. Please review the scholarship description and application form for details. The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday October 20 (week 7).
  2. Enterprise ‘Above and Beyond’ Scholarships: The Enterprise Program is now accepting Fall 2017 applications for the ‘Above and Beyond’ Scholarship. Formerly the ‘Super Senior’ scholarship, this scholarship has been expanded and aims to recognize Enterprise students whose participation in their team goes above and beyond the norm. The description, eligibility, and application can be found here: EnterpriseScholarshipDoc2Note the deadline for Fall 2017 has been extended to 5pm Wednesday September 20 (Week 3).

Applications should be submitted to:

Rick Berkey

Director, Enterprise Program

722 Minerals and Materials Building


Add Enterprise and Pavlis to Your Handshake Profile

logoCareer Fair is almost here! Time to update those resumes and practice your introductions. Have you set up your Handshake profile yet? Handshake is a university platform designed to make it easy for students to find and apply for internships and jobs. Handshake also enables employers and recruiters to find the best talent their companies are looking for. The Pavlis Honors College and The Enterprise Program are listed as Organizations/Extracurriculars. If you’d like to learn how to add these to your profile so that employers and recruiters can easily search for you, please read on.

While on your home profile page, click on ‘Add Work Experience’ in the top left of your screen. Scroll down and click on ‘Add An Organization’.

If you are involved in Enterprise, you may add ‘The Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech’ as one of your organizations. Use the ‘Position’ box to state your role or job title, as well as the name of the Enterprise team you are involved in. You may also include a ‘Description’ to explain your role and responsibilities within the team.  Please see the image below. Pic1

Members of the Honors College can also add the Pavlis Honors College as one of their organizations on Handshake. Use the ‘Position’ box to state your pathway. You may use the ‘Description’ box to detail your experiences or accomplishments while in the Honors College. Please see the image below.

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After saving your Organizations/Extracurriculars, your page will look like the screenshot below.

Pic3

Handshake also allows you to add social links to your profile. If you are a member of the Pavlis Honors College and would like for recruiters and employers to be able to view your Seelio profile you can link to it from the ‘Social Links’ section in the bottom right corner. Click on ‘Add Your Own’ and enter your Seelio profile URL here. Make sure that your profile is public. Enterprise students may wish to add their Enterprise team website here as well.

Pic4The Handshake Genius Bar will be on campus all this week in room 220E of the Administration and Student Services Building. Stop by to find job postings, learn about events, post your resume, and sign up for one-on-one career advising. Need help setting up your Handshake profile? Stop by Career Services for help.


Supermileage Systems Enterprise Wins Technical Innovation Award in the Shell Eco-Marathon

By Amy Karagiannakis

The 33rd annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition took place over the weekend, April 27-30 in Detroit, MI. This year’s event was the second season that Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team competed.  Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. More than 100 teams from universities and high schools across the country and abroad came to the heart of the Motor City to compete on the track located on the city streets surrounding the Cobo Convention Center.

shelleco-marathon

In order to participate, teams must successfully complete a 4-phase registration process, including submission of technical information about their vehicle and design. There are two vehicle categories: urban concept and prototype. Within these categories there are three energy types: internal combustion (multiple fuel types), battery, and hydrogen. In order to compete, teams must pass a rigorous technical inspection and complete 10 consecutive laps around a 0.6 mile closed course in downtown Detroit, maintaining a minimum average speed of 15 mph. Awards are given for teams achieving the highest efficiency (either mpg or m/kWh). Off-track awards are also given for Innovation, Communication, Safety, Design, and Perseverance & Team Spirit. This year, 119 teams from 8 different countries were approved to compete.

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The Supermileage Enterprise competed in the Prototype/Battery Electric class. Of the 27 teams that participated, 22 made it through technical inspection and 17 completed at least one performance run. Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise was one of those 17 teams. The team’s design included a 500W brushed DC motor and controller using a 48V/20Ah lithium ion battery back and battery management system. The motor controller must be purpose-built and designed by the team (i.e. no off the shelf controllers allowed). The Supermileage Enterprise improved their controller design from last year and upgraded the battery for improved vehicle acceleration. They completed one run with 104 m/kWh…about 3,500 MPGe. The team took 10th place in the BEV prototype category.

Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team also competed for the Communications, Safety, and Technical Innovation Awards at the Shell Eco-marathon.  They won the Technical Innovation Award for their flexible motor controller design. The judges reviewed the application and interviewed the team. They noted the team’s well-defined engineering requirements as one of the key strengths over other applications.

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Rick Berkey, Supermileage Systems Enteprise advisor and Director of Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program, commented, “It goes without saying that I am so proud of our team’s accomplishments, throughout the year and especially at the event. Competing in the electric vehicle category is particularly challenging given that teams must build their own motor controller. This is not a trivial task! Receiving the Technical Innovation Award was a real testament to the team’s motor controller design AND their ability to articulate what makes it innovative and unique. To see us place 10th in only our second year of SEM competition shows the talent and drive of the Supermileage Systems Enterprise. It’s rewarding and humbling to work with such a great group of students and to see them get recognition on a national stage among peers from schools around the globe – that was the highlight for me.”

The $3,000 monetary award will be put to good use, and the Supermileage Systems Enterprise now has an impressive trophy to display on campus.

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The Supermileage Systems Enterprise team will now begin converting their vehicle over to the internal combustion engine for the upcoming SAE Supermileage competition on June 8-9 at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, MI. Good luck and congratulations!