A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will travel to San Jose, Calif., this month to race an aerodynamically outfitted recumbent trike in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2014 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge West Coast Competition.
The competition will be held Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27. Missouri S&T’s Human Powered Vehicle Team will race its trike, dubbed “Banshee,” against other collegiate teams from around the nation. The competition requires students to design, build and operate a human-powered vehicle for practical use.
In the design portion of the competition, teams are scored on their engineering principles through a written report and technical presentation. The actual racing is split into three sections. The first day of racing features the men’s and women’s speed events, in which teams sprint head-to-head over a short distance. On the second day of racing, teams compete in an endurance event, racing to complete as many laps as possible during a span of several hours.
This is the second competition that the team will race in this season. At the east coast competition, held April 11-13 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., Missouri S&T’s team placed fifth despite a crash that caused mechanical damage. The team has repaired the damage and returned Banshee to peak shape. The team hopes that the addition of blind-spot detectors and increased time for training will improve its chances of winning the competition.
The Banshee features a carbon fiber fairing, the aerodynamic shell around the vehicle, on a recumbent trike, with two wheels in the front and one in the back. Green LED lights glow from beneath the fairing. Touchscreen equipment is built into the handlebars to control the vehicle’s lights, horn and turn signals. The vehicle also has a rearview camera.
Dr. Daniel Stutts, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at S&T, is the Human Powered Vehicle Team faculty advisor. Nikia Chapman, a junior in geological engineering from Columbia, Mo., is the team leader for the 2013-14 design season. For more information about the event, visit www.asme.org.