A team of students from Missouri S&T will travel to Pennsylvania this month to race its aerodynamically constructed bicycle as part of the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) East Competition.
The competition will be held April 13-15 at Pennsylvania State University. Missouri S&T’s Human Powered Vehicle Team will compete against approximately 40 other teams from universities from around the nation to design, build and operate a human-powered vehicle for practical urban use.
The competition is divided into four main events. A speed competition will demonstrate how fast the vehicle can travel in a head-to-head race against other teams. Teams field both male and female riders.
The final component of the event is the endurance race. This event will place the team’s vehicle in an urban environment. Drivers must maneuver the vehicle through various road obstacles, such as hairpin turns, water hazards and speed bumps. The team will earn points in each category, which will then be totaled as part of its overall standings.
Prior to the competition, the teams submit reports on innovation and design, in which they explain how the vehicle was conceptualized and fabricated.
This year’s vehicle, named Trikeceratops, is a “leaning” tricycle-style vehicle. The vehicle has a lean lock built into it, which fixes the vehicle upright and allows the driver to focus on producing power. The trike has a carbon fiber shell and suicide-style doors that open vertically.
“A new design that truly saves time is our live hub and removable wheel system, which allows for quick fixes on the tires, hubs, knuckles, brakes and steering; so pretty much everything that extends outside of the fairing is now accessible for timely repairs,” says Alivia Dean, president of the Human Powered Vehicle Team and a junior in mechanical engineering from Clyde, Ohio. “We also make our wheels using carbon fiber, so switching to this wheel design was not difficult after the initial design was introduced.”
The Human Powered Vehicle Team is one of 18 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides real-world team-based operations, including computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Most teams compete annually against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.