All Thayer News

Dartmouth Engineers Create Alternative Fuel Bus to Transport Ultimate Frisbee Team

Mar 04, 2011

CONTACT: Catharine Lamm

Promoting both alternative fuel and the sport of ultimate frisbee, the "Big Green Bus" utilizes the simple and plentiful resource of used fry-oil from fast-food restaurants and diners. The team is 15 Dartmouth ultimate frisbee players of national caliber, many of whom are majoring in engineering sciences and/or environmental studies.

The project is co-sponsored by Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and the Environmental Studies Program. These two grants are funding the engine conversion portion of the project.

The team has also been awarded the Ultimate Players Association's most generous grant: The Innovation Grant for the purpose of promoting ultimate frisbee.

When the group first started talking about a way to transport the Dartmouth Ultimate Frisbee team from Hanover, New Hampshire to Seattle, Washington for the Potlatch Ultimate Tournament in July, the engineering majors on the team mentioned that they could convert a bus to run on french-fry oil.

Being an environmentally conscious group, they immediately jumped at the chance to reach people with a 'green' message. Other team members researched and acquired initial financial support from Dartmouth, and now the engine is nearly complete and an itinerary is being planned.

Still ahead: convert the inside of the bus for the team and acquire equipment and sources for fuel.

How to Support the Project:


    As the team crosses the country, provide a dinner and/or put them up for a night. This may be a spot in your backyard to pitch their tents, or room on your floor for sleeping bags. Receive in return an opportunity to share information and experiences.

    We will need dependable sources of pre-filtered waste vegetable oil along our route, or commitments from restaurants to provide waste vegetable oil, or information about either.

    Provide contact information about your local:
    • Neighborhood newspapers & radio, especially youth media
    • Petroleum or energy industry
    • Automobile, bus, RV industries
    • Environmental groups
    • Food service companies
    • Outdoor shops
    • Clothing manufacturers
    • Ultimate frisbee teams

    Foodstuffs, gift certificates, tents, sleeping bags, etc. will be useful and much appreciated.

    Sponsorships include your logo on equipment, the program, bus, and team clothing. The program will include participant profiles, itineraries, information on alternative energy and ultimate frisbee, well wishes and advertisements. Advertising/support options include a business card-sized slot, quarter, half and full pages as well as the back and inside covers. Programs will be distributed along the trip as well as signed copies sent to sponsors. Advertising is also available on merchandise that will be sold on the trip; items include clothing, discs, commemorative calendar, and more.

    Still to do: furnish the inside of the bus, paint the outside and equip team members for the journey.

To find out more, visit, or email the team at

For contacts and other media information visit our Media Resources page.