Home Campus Supermileage team gains traction

Supermileage team gains traction

BYU-Idaho students in the automotive department are building a car in preparation for the Supermileage competition in the spring of next year.

“Supermileage refers to hypermiling,” said John Mastin, a junior studying mechanical engineering. “It’s all about extreme miles per gallon. It’s not about comfort or speed or anything like that; it’s about getting as many miles per gallon as humanly possible.”

John Mastin said he founded the team three semesters ago because he wanted to be a part of a program that would help him in his future career in the automotive field.

“I had pitched a few other ideas to the department and got shot down,” he said. “This was the most viable option.”

He said he originally pitched the program to the engineering department, but it would not have been funded by them. The automotive department is the source of funds for the team.

Mastin said the team just returned from observing this year’s competition, and the winning team’s car had 3,800 mpg.

The BYU-I team has a goal of making a car that gets at least 1,000 mpg, according to the official BYU-I Supermileage webpage.

Mastin said there are three groups within the team that work on different aspects of the car.

He said the powertrain team works on the engine, the body team works on the body of the car.

The chassis team works on the inner systems of the car, such as steering and brakes.

Mastin said he is always looking for new additions for the team, no matter their experience or major.

“I can find a place for anybody,” he said. “I really think that we can find the skill set that works for everybody.”

There are currently about 20 people on the team, according to the official BYU-I Supermileage webpage.

Mastin said while most of the team are automotive or engineering majors, any major can be useful.

“Just come, and I will find a place for you,” Mastin said.

He said all students are welcome to see what the team does and they can stay updated by searching the team’s website.

“Any team that is diversified will gain strengths more than a team that is concentrated in a single field,” said James Williams, a junior studying civil engineering. “Any successful company will have great diversity on their teams to create the greatest product.”

He said he wants to make sure the team brings a good quality product to the competition because their performance reflects on BYU-I’s reputation.

“We will succeed,” Mastin said. “We will go compete this time next year, and I expect us to take second or third place easily.”

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