Human Powered Vehicle Project

Click for large image of team
Team Photo: All images can be clicked on to enlarge

2005 News Story
2004 News Story
2002 News Story
HPV Website

Human Powered Vehicle Competition
Results 2003
(Out of 21 schools)

1st Design and Innovation

2nd Design Report

10th Overall (Single Rider)

5th Overall (Single Rider + Utility)

Dr. John K. Gershenson
Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 487-2047


View of HPV

Inside the HPV

HPV artists drawing


Senior engineering students will design build and test a new breed of human powered vehicle (HPV) to win ASME’s national HPV contest. The team this year will include students from mechanical engineering, materials engineering, and biomedical engineering.

The team of approximately 20 students will work with a wide variety of industrial sponsors and partners to achieve an innovative and fast HPV. This is the third year of the MTU HPV program. The last two years, we won the design and innovation category and placed highly in overall team points.

Our designs have been widely recognized as the best entries the competition has seen. We were the first team in the history of the program to enter a multiconfiguration vehicle to optimize performance in all events. We were the first to successfully include a linear drive. We have let the way in the use of composites. It is our goal to build on last year’s efforts, not by tweaking a successful vehicle, but by continuing to innovate.

Typically, teams come back with essentially the same vehicle year after year. Each year the vehicle will undergo minor modifications and improvements. MTU will operate differently. We will look to take those successful innovations from last year and add to them a few significant innovations. The result will be an entirely new vehicle.

This year, students will attack two areas for innovation and two areas for significant design improvement. We will put to rest the concept of a multi-configurational vehicle and concentrate on the speed and endurance race. We will look for significant improvements in the use of a linear drive and significant improvements in the weight of the vehicle.

Other design emphases will be the improvement of the fairing component alignments – hopefully resulting in a new molding method and a radically different monococque frame design. We also perhaps can include video-based vision. The major difference in this year’s vehicle will be the push towards increased analysis and testing. With two old vehicles to test and new testing capabilities, we should be far ahead of previous years’ entries.



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Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

College of Engineering
Michigan Technological University

1400 Townsend Drive

Houghton, MI USA 49931-1295