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A UCF mechanical engineering student designed the first four-stroke outboard marine engine with turbopower.

Dale Wagner, 27, is a UCF senior. He grew up on a citrus farm where he spent hours repairing tractors. He also spent restless years with the hopes to build the engine no one could create.

Wagner made it his senior design project.

With junkyard scraps, he and a team of seven other UCF students worked to create his dream engine.

He said as soon as they almost cracked the code, they ran out of money.

Wagner decided to cold-call Honda Motors Co. and explained how his design would change the way people think of marine technology.

Honda Motors Co. agreed. They provided him and his team access to motor parts, a 24-foot Robalo boat, and a Honda Motors test center.

Within a few months, they did it. They created the first four-stroke outboard marine engine with turbopower. It’s estimated to produce more than 600 horsepower while only weighing 661 pounds.

The fastest outboard engine on the market produces 627 horsepower but weighs twice as much.

After graduation on Saturday, Dec. 14, Wagner will begin his new job at Boeing for its aerospace team and work on a spacecraft that can exit and enter space daily.

His team will become the next generation of helicopter engineers and turbine-engine designers.

Written by Jesse Canales for Spectrum News 13