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Ohio Northern University captures fourth at Human Powered Vehicle Challenge

May 7, 2014

The Ohio Northern University chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) captured fourth place at the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) East competition at the University of Central Florida April 11-13.

Thirty-two teams of ASME student members took part in the competition, which consisted of three races (a men’s and women’s drag race and an endurance event) as well as design and innovation evaluations. The host school, the University of Central Florida, took top overall honors, with Rose Hulman finishing second and Franklin Olin College finishing third.

The ONU team took fifth in the design event, fourth in the innovation event, 7th in men’s and 13th women’s speed events, and fifth in the endurance event.

ONU’s ASME chapter adviser Michael Rider, professor of mechanical engineering, said, “After a fifth-place finish at last year’s competition with a three-wheeled vehicle, the team decided to switch to a two-wheeled vehicle to increase speed and be more competitive. The team made drastic changes, such as a new frame design, a carbon fiber shell that was manufactured here at ONU for the first time, and a new innovation that featured retractable training wheels based on the rider’s speed.”

Human-powered transport is often the only type available in underdeveloped or inaccessible parts of the world and, if well designed, can be an increasingly viable form of sustainable transportation. ASME’s Human Powered Vehicle Challenge provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate the application of sound engineering design principles in the development of sustainable and practical transportation alternatives. In the HPVC, students work in teams to design and build efficient, highly engineered vehicles for everyday use, from commuting to work to carrying goods to market. The competition events included a safety inspection, speed race, innovation showcase and a drag race.

The ONU mechanical engineering majors that competed were Ken Wachtel, a senior from West Chester, Ohio; Jason Tropf, a senior from Findlay, Ohio; Wes Brown, a senior from Fremont, Ohio; Chris Hauenstein, a junior from Hudson, Ohio; Evan McKee, a senior from Medina, Ohio; Dan Herting, a junior from Beavercreek Township, Ohio; Brett Bomba, a senior from North Royalton, Ohio; Morgan Sperry, a senior from Batavia, Ohio; Lauren Poll, a senior from Shaker Heights, Ohio; Dan Meeks, a junior from Kenton, Ohio; Sam Inbody, a freshman from McComb, Ohio; and Billy Mills, a freshman from Dunkirk, Ohio.

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