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SAE Fuel Economy Competition Challenges Students from Forty College and High School Teams at Eaton Proving Grounds

MARSHALL, Mich.--June 11, 2004--More than 200 engineering students will participate in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) Supermileage(TM) competition on June 11-12, 2004 at the Eaton Proving Grounds here in Marshall from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. The student participants represent 30 universities and colleges from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico and 10 high schools from the U.S.

The University of British Columbia in Vancouver will defend its 2003 title in the collegiate class by attempting to improve on its 928 mpg run last year. Homestead High School in New Haven, Ind. won the high school class last year with 1,343 mpg.

In an effort to increase public awareness of fuel economy and student involvement, Supermileage(TM) challenges students to set world fuel economy records while earning practical experience in design and fabrication. Teams are required to design and build a one-person, fuel-efficient vehicle based on a small four-cycle engine.

Vehicles must have a minimum of three wheels, and the driver must be fully enclosed to prevent contact with the ground. The length, width and height of the vehicles are not restricted. During the two-day competition, teams will be judged in two categories: vehicle design and a performance run. The run includes driving six laps around a 2.6 km (1.6 miles) oval-shaped test track at a minimum average speed of 24 km/hr (15 mph).

All vehicles are powered by a two-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. The use of the same engine creates a more challenging engineering design test. For 25 years, Briggs & Stratton has donated engines to each participating team. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Briggs & Stratton is the world's largest producer of air-cooled engines for outdoor power equipment. Since 1976, Briggs & Stratton has donated more than 400 engines for the Supermileage(TM) competition.

Student competitors experience real-world lessons in project management, teamwork, communication, design and manufacturing; skills that are highly valued by the mobility industry. The Supermileage(TM) competition was conceived of and first organized by faculty of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo together with engineers from Eaton's Automotive business.

For 25 consecutive years, Eaton has sponsored the competition and employees of its Truck and Automotive Groups have volunteered to organize and conduct the event during the two days of the competition at its proving grounds in Marshall at 19218 B. Drive South.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2003 sales of $8.1 billion. Eaton is a global leader in fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; automotive engine air management systems and powertrain controls for fuel economy; and intelligent drivetrain systems for fuel economy and safety in trucks. Eaton has 51,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit

Supermileage(TM) is one of several annual collegiate design competitions sponsored by SAE as part of the Collegiate Design Series. For more information about the Supermileage(TM) competition, visit the SAE web site at