Human powered vehicle team brings home wins

Cal Poly's human powered vehicle completed obstacles in this last weekend's competition in Toole, Utah.

Cal Poly students proved once again that they are are award-winning when Cal Poly’s Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team took first place in design at ASME’s (formerly the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) annual competition this weekend in Tooele, Utah. The team also took second place in the drag race, third in the cart event and a second place overall win with its recumbent bicycle vehicle.

The competition was the culmination of nine months of work for team members who began designing in September, before building the bike from scratch, said mechanical engineering junior and team president Matt Baker.

“As a school, we’re proud that we do all the manufacturing from start to finish,” Baker said.

The team’s emphasis on strong design contributed to the first place win, Baker said. ASME judges pay careful attention to testing and analysis in each design report when ranking competing HPVs, Baker said.

“They want to see who went through the design process, tested the design and did analysis on the design,” Baker said.

The bike also came in ahead of the pack because of its innovative features, said William Hilgenberg, an aerospace engineering junior and ASME vice president.

“Bikes come in all different shapes and sizes,” Hilgenberg said.

Most vehicles entered in ASME’s competition are three-wheeled designs, but Cal Poly’s team almost always builds a two-wheeled bike, Hilgenberg said.

To design the bike, called Gemini, the team was inspired by a previous Greek-themed team design, Atlas.

“The actual HPV team has been around 35 years, so we have a lot of history,” Hilgenberg said.

The designers used Atlas’ design as a starting point, Hilgenberg said, and then created a new bike with two wheels, a carbon fiber and Kevlar composite shell and a carbon fiber frame.

The two wheels allowed the bike to be both fast and maneuverable, allowing the team to take second in the drag races and third in the cart event, an obstacle course-type race, Hilgenberg said.

Though the team is a mechanical engineering club, students from other engineering majors and even majors outside the College of Engineering (such as history) joined the team, and were all coached in the creative process, Hilgenberg said. Each student was trained in the manufacturing process until it was memorized, and then given individual or small group projects.

“We can take people who have no experience in the shop and train them into someone who has a lot of experience,” Hilgenberg said.

Mechanical engineering professor and faculty adviser for the team, Kim Shollenberger, was proud of the effort put in by each student. Her role was simply to advise, and the students competed by themselves this weekend, Shollenberger said.

Shollenberger also served as senior project adviser for several team members, who spent long hours making the HPV’s design their senior project.

“They put in so many extra hours doing calculations,” Shollenberger said.

The team’s multiple wins this weekend were rewarding in light of the effort they put in, Shollenberger said

“I think they did a great job,” Shollenberger said. “They’re a great bunch of students, and they put in so much time in this year’s bike.”

Design Event: 1st: Cal Poly SLO 2nd: CSU Chico 3rd: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Women’s Speed Event: 1st: Missouri University of Science and Technology 2nd: Cal Poly SLO 3rd: CSU Long Beach Men’s Speed Event: 1st: Missouri University of Science and Technology 2nd: Cal Poly SLO 3rd: CSU Long Beach Endurance Event: 1st: Missouri University of Science and Technology 2nd: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 3rd: Cal Poly SLO
  • Bob Phelan

    Uh, I hate to burst your bubble, but the Missouri University of Science and Technology won in a thrilling tie breaker decided by the endurance race.

    Check ASME.org. And by the way, ASME is not “formerly” the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASME is the acronym for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    Check facts, please.

  • Bob Phelan
  • Thunder Thighs

    I find it unfortunate that this is deceptive journalism. It would appear in this article that Cal Poly won the overall event (even though it does not specifically say so) when in fact Missouri S&T won the overall event over Cal Poly when both teams tied in points and Missouri won the tie breaker by winning ALL of the races.

    I do not want to take anything away from the Cal Poly HPV team as they did a TREMENDOUS job and should be congratulated repeatedly for their performance, but we want to make sure some details are made clear in the interest of fairness.

    Perhaps a proof read before posting on the internet in order to avoid backlash??

  • Rawr

    Reading comprehension is an elusive skill, apparently…

    This is the FIRST paragraph of the article: “Cal Poly students proved once again that they are are award-winning when Cal Poly’s Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team took first place in design at ASME’s (formerly the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) annual competition this weekend in Tooele, Utah. The team also took second place in the drag race, third in the cart event and a second place overall win with its recumbent bicycle vehicle.”

  • Bob Phelan

    “The team’s emphasis on strong design contributed to the first place win.”

    There is only one first place win, and that is the overall event.

    “…………and a second place overall win……..”

    We have great admiration for the team, its accomplishments and people, and have for a long time. Our issue is with the writing.

    Since when is “second place overall” a “win?” Last we checked there is only one winner. This was not the observation of disgruntled students or advisors, but we took heat for reporting the overall victory when this report was construed as making us look like fools

    Words are powerful. Use them correctly, please.

  • Rawr

    If you read closely, you’ll see that she meant first place win in the design competition. There were competitions within the main competition.

    I also saw multiple mentions of a “second place overall finish.”

    • Bob Phelan

      We have read closely, and we are not buying it. It still says “second place overall win.” Since when does 2nd place in the World Series, a presidential election, or the Super Bowl constitute a “win?”

      Communication is defined as the right word in the right order. This article fails that definition.

  • http://www.auroraspeedbike.blogspot.com Will Hilgenberg

    Dear Contributing Individuals,

    We did not with the overall. We did with the Design portion and took second in both drag races and third in the endurance event. Those are the facts that were in the article. The quality of the article has little to do with the team and it may also be pertinent to mention that while S and T did win, it was not explicitly clear at the design presentation until a second printout with more exacting points was provided showing the .01 points gap out of the 100 point total.

    This year we are building another bike and will proudly continue to be one of the top teams in ASME; a position which we have held since the 80′s

    Sincerely,
    Will Hilgenberg
    2011-2013 Cal Poly HPV Vice President

  • http://Electricians-Huddersfield.Co.uk/ electrician in huddersfield

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent
    for this info! Thanks!

  • Pingback: We Interrupt Formula SAE Coverage To Bring You This Rant! | Experience This