Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) students Evan Adams, Luke Chapman, Jesse Logan, Christine Shuster, and Connor Stonerock competed in the April 2023 Fluid Powered Vehicle Challenge to deliver the best of the event. Awarded for teamwork.
Organized by the Japan Fluid Power Automobile Association, Fluid Powered Vehicle Challenge (FPVC) is a competition in which students design vehicles using a combination of hydraulics and pneumatics and enter them in various races. The Russ Institute of Technology hosted a team led by Michael Kennedy, an assistant professor of education at the university. Department of Engineering Technology Management.
ETM students study both hydraulics and pneumatics and gain hands-on experience in the Parker Hannifin Hydraulics Laboratory at the Ohio University Stocker Center. However, FPVC allows students to gain more hands-on experience while developing hydraulic bikes.
“The biggest challenge in building hydraulic bikes this year was that I had very little experience when I first started. This was my first time competing in a competition on a bicycle,” Stonerock said.
Through various prototypes and experiments, the team was able to solve the challenges that arose during the construction of the bike. They implemented an engineering principle for calculating the required revolutions per minute (RPM) of the motor to maximize the efficiency of the system. I also had to design, manufacture and install custom-made components for my bike, which gave me hands-on experience to replicate a similar process in my post-graduation career.
When the team finished the bike, it was ready to compete with colleges across the country at FPVC. To test each vehicle, the team competed in four different races: a sprint race, an efficiency race, an endurance race and a regeneration race. A sprint race was a drag race that tested the speed of the entire vehicle. The efficiency race measured how far the vehicle could go based on the pressure stored in the accumulator, a key component of the hydraulic bike. The endurance race was his 15-minute race around the track to see how far the car could travel in a time frame. Finally, the regenerative race tested the bike’s regenerative braking capabilities. This measured how much pressure a vehicle could build up when going down a hill and how that pressure would move the vehicle. In addition to the technical challenges, the challenges also had presentation and design evaluation elements. The scores for each category were tallied to determine the contest winner.
Although the Russ University team did not qualify for the competition, they won the event’s Best Teamwork award in recognition of their cooperative synergy.
“Our team strength was special in the sense that we had multiple members who were willing to do whatever it took to make the bike work. Our team was willing to spend a lot of time outside of class and other activities to make the bike work,” Stonerock said.
At every stage of competition and preparation, Adams, Chapman, Logan, Shuster and Stonerock worked together, embracing each other’s strengths and developing new skills to create a functioning bike that could compete at the national level.
“After all the time and effort put into the bike, the sense of accomplishment and relief when the bike successfully made its official first voyage was almost unparalleled,” said Stonerock.
https://www.ohio.edu/news/2023/06/russ-college-students-win-prize-best-teamwork-fluid-power-vehicle-competition Russ University Students Win Best Teamwork Award in Fluid Powered Vehicle Contest