Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Human Powered Vehicle Challenge team recently earned first place at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers two 2020 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge Digital Competitions.

The ASME E-Fest North and E-Fest South competitions, traditionally held in-person at different universities, were moved online due to safety precautions related to the current spread of COVID-19. 

The competitions challenge students to design, build and operate a human-powered vehicle for practical use. Vehicles typically resemble aerodynamically focused vehicles. 

Missouri S&T’s team earned first place overall at both competitions after all teams were judged on a design report and presentation. The teams were required to describe their design, analysis and the testing process that they followed throughout the academic year. This year, the teams focused on a “trailer-pull challenge,” rollbar verification and drivetrain optimization. 

The competitions traditionally also include a dynamic portion, with teams racing along set courses to prove their concepts, but the race was not possible due to the remote nature of the 2020 competitions. Instead, teams submitted a 5-minute highlight video of their creations in action. 

Missouri S&T’s vehicle at the competition, named “Greased Lightning,” has two wheels in the front and one in the back. It has a steel frame in a recumbent-style of riders reclining as they pedal. 

The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge Team is one of 20 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 teams with 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. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world.

For more information about the team, visit humanpowered.mst.edu.