University of Utah Human Powered Vehicle at the Department of Mechanical Engineering Design Day held in the Union Ballroom on April 16th.

The University of Utah Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team participated in the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 2013 HPV Challenge held in San Jose, California April 12-14, taking 3rd in Innovation and 6th for Design.  Achieving these impressive results with a budget of $1,500 and needing to miss the final day of competition in order to attend the University of Utah Mechanical Engineering Design Day on April 16, is striking.  The team competed against 28 other universities, many of which enjoyed a budget in the neighborhood of $20,000.

Meeting with and talking to the UofU mechanical engineering senior HPV team members, Leora Hansen (lead), James Dahl, Jeff Anderson, Tim Ahles, Spencer Perry, and Tyler Bielstein, you could not help but see their confidence and feel their well-deserved pride.  Leora noted, “We were thrilled with our project!  We placed 3rd in innovation and 6th in design, out of 28 different universities.  But best of all, we beat BYU!”

Mechanical engineering senior, Leora Hansen points out, “Best of all, we beat BYU!”

“I think that everyone that worked on our project chose it because of our love of Solid Mechanics.  Four out of our six-team members are receiving that emphasis with their degree.  Tim Ahles and myself wanted to work on the project because we have machining and welding skills,” said Hansen.

Talking about obstacles, Leora continued, “Having done all of the manufacturing ourselves, time to get things done was definitely the biggest issue.  Dr. Sanford Meek (mechanical engineering associate professor) was great to work with.  He helped keep us on schedule and is extremely knowledgeable in the field.”

When asked what is next for this project and the graduating seniors, Leora responded, “The bike will be stored for potential use in the future.  We would love to see a second iteration of the bike; there are things that we would have improved had we had more time or money.  Everyone on our team (with the exception of me) has been offered jobs in industry.  I am staying at the U for a while longer to complete my Masters degree.”

The Human Powered Vehicle undergraduate project was one of 23 senior design projects showcased during the Department of Mechanical Engineering Design Day held on April 16, 2013, in the Olpin Union Building.  The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education.  By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.