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Future truck places fifth

photo of The 2000 Future Truck team.

The 2000 Future Truck team.

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The College of Engineering Future Truck team steered its revamped Chevy Suburban to a fifth place overall finish in the national contest completed June 15 in the Arizona desert.

The Future Truck Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, pitted 15 college teams after the goal of a greener sport utility vehicle. Each team tested its re-engineered sport utility for maximum fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

UW-Madison team leader Jenny Topinka, a mechanical senior from Verona, says the final showing was especially gratifying given mechanical troubles that kept them of several key dynamic events.

In spite of that, the team took first place in a host of individual events. Those included: best technical report, best vehicle design inspection, best oral design inspection, safety award, innovations in aluminum, best workmanship, best teamwork and best faculty advisor, she says. The team's advisor is Glenn Bower.

"Everyone was glad they made the effort," she says. "In the last month or so, core team members were averaging 40 hours a week in the garage."

This is the truck competition's first year, but UW-Madison won the national Future Car competition in the past two years.

Brian Mattmiller