Engineering students from UMR will go for a "threepeat" win to keep the national title at the annual West Coast Human-Powered Vehicle Competition (HPVC) April 24-25 in Corvallis, Ore.
The competition, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, involves teams from colleges and universities throughout the United States. The teams design and construct human-powered "superbikes" for the competition and enter their projects in three different categories: design review and presentation, sprint race, and endurance race.
This year’s vehicle will sport a new — and somewhat unusual — look. "We put in a camera and LCD system," says Jerrod Bouchard, president of UMR’s HPV team and a junior in mechanical engineering. "We got the idea from the World Speed Challenge, which is where the professionals race the HPVs that get up to 82 mph." The camera system allows the rider to lie down, reducing the height and frontal area needed for the vehicle. In tests, UMR’s vehicle has reached speeds as high as 50 mph.
At last year’s competition — held on team’s home turf in Rolla — the UMR team placed second in the design report, first in the sprint race (both male and female riders), first in the single rider category and first in the endurance race, giving the team a first-place rating overall.
The team also plans to compete in the East Coast competition on May 7-9 in Gainesville, Fla.