Putting their mettle to the pedal – Students win human-powered vehicle competition.
A group of UMR students used pedal power to prevail in a national competition of human-powered vehicles. The UMR team took first place out of 10 teams in the event, held May 17-19 in Blacksburg, Va.
The competition, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, requires teams to design and construct human-powered vehicles, which the teams then enter in three different categories: design review and presentation, sprint race, and endurance race. UMR placed third in the design report, first in the sprint race (both male and female riders) and first in the endurance race, giving the team a first-place rating overall.
UMR’s entry, the UMR Retaliation, reached speeds of nearly 50 mph, says Matt Wolk, team president and a senior in mechanical engineering. "The high speed was not only attained through brute force of the rider, but by creating the bike so it could undergo modifications for different terrain."
Other noteworthy team efforts: Other UMR student teams did well in national and international competitions last spring. Among the efforts:
- The UMR Robot Design Team placed sixth out of 28 competitors at a regional robotics competition on April 20. The contest was sponsored by the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) and held at the NASA Hilton in Houston, Texas.
- A team of UMR mathematics students tied for second place among 23 teams in the annual Missouri Mathematics Association of America Collegiate Mathematics Competition, held April 11-12 at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.
- UMR’s Radio-Controlled Airplane Team took first place in design for the plane the students designed and built for an international competition. But disaster struck the airplane before it could take part in the flying portion of the contest when the UMR plane was hit by another team’s runaway aircraft. Team members worked most of the day to repair the damage. In the second flight on the following day the wing failed, probably due to undetected damage sustained in the incident. Despite the mishap, UMR’s team finished in eighth place out of 35 entries in its class. The competition, sponsored by the Society for Automotive Engineers, was held April 12-14 in Titusville, Fla.
- UMR’s Concrete Canoe Team had its best showing ever, finishing in third place overall in the regional Concrete Canoe Competition held April 26-27 in Norman, Okla.
- The Formula Race Car Team finished 16th out of more than 130 competing teams in the annual Formula SAE competition. The UMR team designed and built a formula-style race car to compete with other schools from around the world at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., May 15-19.
- A team of civil engineering students finished second in the National Timber Bridge Design Competition, sponsored by UMR’s American Society of Civil Engineers’ student chapter. Teams tested their bridges on their respective campus and submitted photos and abstracts for judging. This was the first time UMR competed in the event.
- UMR’s Solar Car Team won the Formula Sun Grand Prix held May 13-17 in Topeka, Kan. UMR’s Solar Miner III completed the grand prix-style race with a record-breaking 444 laps (932.4 miles).
- Ceramic engineering students fared well in two design competitions held at the American Ceramic Society’s annual meeting, held April 28-May 1 in St. Louis. The UMR students won the mug drop competition — an event that required teams to create ceramic coffee mugs and then drop them on a concrete floor — and finished second in the putter competition, in which teams make ceramic golf putters and then try to putt the ball closest to a hole. In addition, Keramos, UMR’s ceramic engineering honor society, finished second out of 12 teams in a competition to recognize the nation’s outstanding chapter.