STURTEVANT — Evinrude’s engines are apparently out of this world and, because of the technology, the company is set to be inducted this spring into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.
The induction is planned for April 19 during the Space Foundation’s 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Evinrude announced Thursday.
“Through their commitment to innovation, Evinrude applied space exploration know-how to create a better, cleaner marine engine and reduce boaters’ impact on the environment,” Kevin Cook, the Space Foundation’s vice president of marketing and communications, stated in a release.
“Such efforts are a perfect example of why the Space Foundation is committed to bridging the gap between space technology and commercial manufacturing,” Cook continued. “As the global space community invents new ways to improve space exploration, companies like Evinrude are helping us bring that research into the market to improve quality of life right here on Earth.”
As a 2018 organization inductee, Evinrude will be honored for the company’s role in commercializing high-strength, wear-resistant aluminum alloy called NASA 398. The alloy was developed by NASA scientists Jonathan Lee and Po-Shou Chen, who will also be honored at this year’s event, along with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
The local connection
All Evinrude engines are made at BRP’s Evinrude world headquarters and manufacturing plant at 10101 Science Drive. The company also has its product development, marketing and sales, customer call center and dealer training functions there.
And in November 2016, BRP, or Bombardier Recreational Products, publicly unveiled its new state-of-the-art technician training institute there, as well.
“Evinrude is thrilled to be recognized alongside some of NASA’s most innovative scientists,” stated Tracy Crocker, the company’s senior vice president and general manager. “... Incorporating NASA 398 into our E-TEC engines has enabled us to build quieter, cleaner engines so boaters can limit their impact on the environment and preserve our waters for future generations to enjoy.”
Developed and patented by NASA scientists Lee and Chen, NASA 398 is stronger than industry-standard piston materials and durable enough for a piston application while significantly reducing overall engine weight, according to Evinrude. The company introduced pistons fabricated with the alloy in 2003 and features the technology in its line of E-TEC engines.
By harnessing that technology, Evinrude said it created the most fuel-efficient engines on the market, which meet the highest emission standards in the world.
The Space Technology Hall of Fame increases public awareness of the benefits of space exploration and encourages further innovation by recognizing individuals, organizations and companies that effectively adapt and market technologies originally developed for space to improve the quality of life for all humanity.