Athens, OH 27 January 2019 –
Over winter break I helped finish the design of this year’s human powered vehicle for the upcoming 2019 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. Teams work throughout the year to design, manufacture, and test a vehicle that will compete in speed and endurance events alongside dozens of other teams from around the country.
This project is a true test of the student’s knowledge and understanding of the engineering design process. Each year, the team decides on product design specifications for what characteristics (weight, top speed, drag coefficient, etc.) the vehicle will have. This year’s bike was designed as a three-wheeled tadpole made from an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fairing. The frame includes a rollover protection system that prevents the rider from being injured in case the vehicle flips over. The fairing is designed to allow for minimal air resistance on the vehicle. This results in higher speeds and greater rider comfort.
After finishing the design over break, all materials for manufacturing were ordered. This meant the team could start building as soon as the semester started. The team is pushing a rigorous timeline so that there is ample time for testing and training before the competition in April. After placing 3rd in the previous three competitions, the team is excited and determined to place higher this year.