"Building a recumbent bike and competing at HPV competitions provide me with a chance to get my hands dirty doing something I love, and I can apply what I learn to most of my classes,” said Ben Smith.
Needham, MA (PRWEB) May 19, 2011
Olin’s Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) team recently traveled to ASME’s Human Powered Vehicle Competition (East) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they took top honors in all events.
The 16 member team included Travis Schuh ’12 (co-leader), Ben Smith ’13 (co-leader), Ben Chapman ’14, Orion Taylor ’14, Jackie Rose ’13, Alex Niswander ’11, Eric Jones ’13, Andrew Carmendelle ’13, Heidi Nafis ’13, Jacob Izraelevitz ’11, Juliana Nazare ’14, Meghan Murray ’12, Dan Kearney ’14, Geeta Gubba ’13, Charlie Behling ’14, John Rosenwinkel ’11. They drove their race vehicle down in Chapman’s veggie-fueled car, towing a U-haul trailer with the bicycle inside.
Due in large part to a new, more aerodynamic shell, the team placed first out of thirteen teams in all events – first overall, first in design report, first in male sprint (38mph), first in female sprint (30mph) and first in the sprint endurance event. Additional information about the race, which was hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, can be found here.
The team’s success could also be attributed to its reliable bicycle, which made it through the entire competition without a single mechanical difficulty – a first for this young group—this was only the third competition for Olin’s HPV team—but they did have visibility issues on the last day due to rain and humidity. This prompted the competitors to ride without the top half of their aerodynamic shell.
“Building a recumbent bike and competing at HPV competitions provide me with a chance to get my hands dirty doing something I love, and I can apply what I learn to most of my classes,” said Ben Smith, a co-leader of the HPV team. “Next year, we plan on building an entirely new style of bike, and I can’t wait to conquer the mystery of what lies ahead!”
This years’ HPV sponsors were Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Landry’s Bicycles, Kazak Composites, CD-adapco, Applied Plastics, Waltham Lumber, West Systems and Olin alumni Casey Canfield, Pam Darvirris, Eamon Doyle and Dave Stamp. The faculty advisor was Associate Professor Chris Lee.
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