ION Holds First Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Institute of Navigation Satellite Division holds the First Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Manassas Virginia, February 8, 2011 –The Institute of Navigation (ION) Satellite Division held its first Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition January 27-30, 2011 at the Science Museum of Minnesota during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sponsored by The Institute of Navigation Satellite Division and held in cooperation with the ION North Star Section, the ION Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition is a national event open to college and university students, our next generation of engineers and innovators, their industry partners and faculty advisors.  The competition challenged the teams to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path.

Six teams participated during the 4-day competition, each using unique vehicle design approaches. Teams included students, partners from private industry and faculty advisors from Dunwoody College of Technology; Miami University (Ohio); Ohio University; The University of Michigan, Dearborn; The University of Minnesota and Wright State University (Ohio).

Teams were judged based upon their cumulative scores earned throughout the competition phases: 75% of the total score was based upon the plowing competition; and 25% of the total score was based upon the presentations and pre-event report.

First place was awarded to Ohio University students (pictured) Samantha Craig, Matthew Miltner and Derek Fulk and faculty advisors Dr. Frank Van Graas and Dr. Wouter Pelgrum. The first place prize included $2,500 and a gold snowplow trophy.

Second place was awarded to Miami University students Vincent Gatto, Steve Taylor, Aditya Wibowo, Ryan Wolfarth, Brandon Williams, Harrison Bourne, Mark Carroll, Jamie Morton, Kyle Rogers and Mark Stratis with faculty advisors Yu (Jade) Morton and Peter Jamieson. The second place prize included $1,500 and a silver snowplow trophy.

Third place was awarded to Dunwoody College of Technology students Nigel Ystenes, Josh Moses, Keith McClelland, Michael Carnis, James Jorgenson and Randy Taklo with faculty advisors E.J. Daigle, John McShannock and Tim Flugum. The third place prize included $500 and a bronze snowplow trophy.

In addition, the first place team, Ohio University, will be invited to display their winning snowplow during ION GNSS 2011 Conference September 20-23, 2011 in Portland, Oregon.

The Second Annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition will be held in January 2012 at the Saint Paul Carnival, St. Paul, Minnesota.

About ION
The Institute of Navigation is the world’s premier professional society dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing. The Institute is a national organization whose membership spans worldwide. Additional information about the ION can be found at