Earlier this month, the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Supermileage team attended and exhibited at the Chicago Auto Show, featuring something that no other exhibitors were showing: a vehicle boasting a 1300 mile per gallon rating.
"The Rocket," built and designed by NIU students, was the choice of vehicle to display at the show which celebrated one of the top gas mileage ratings in the world at 1,057 miles per gallon. Though it is an amazing feat, The Rocket is no longer their current racer.
"We didn't want to bring our competition car to the auto show because that means two weeks that we can't work on it," freshman Nathaniel Abbott tells NIU Newsroom. "And our first competition is in the month or two. We're trying to grind out for that."
This competition is the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas—an international competition well-known within the engineering community. The students taking part in the competition do so with no other motivation other than to learn as much as they can and compete at a high level against some of the strongest groups of young adults in the world—no credit hours are granted, no pay is offered.
"You learn to be a student in the classroom," senior Nathaniel Bailey shares with NIU Newsroom. "These clubs will teach you how to be an engineer."
Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. (SJTI) is a proud sponsor for the NIU Supermileage team, offering welding and other services the team may otherwise not have access to. This is a fitting partnership for SJTI, as one of our most prominent passions in the Rockford and surrounding communities includes supporting the STEM movement for younger generations.