During college, I worked as a member of the Olin Human Powered Vehicles Team to build a vehicle to compete in the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. I was a team leader for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons and contributed to most aspects of the vehicle including the drivetrain, aerodynamic design and composites production.
During the 2011-2012 season (my freshman year), the team built its first ever monocoque carbon fiber vehicle. I was very involved in aerodynamic analysis, composites production and mechanical design. Our vehicle, Seabagel was rather heavy (70 lbs) but performed well, placing 3rd at competition. Our innovative adjustable pedal linkage also won the Knovel award for design innovation.
For the 2012-2013 season, the team built a monocoque recumbent bicycle. This vehicle had a landing gear system that had been redesigned from past years and was the lightest vehicle the team had ever built. Unfortunately, we had a catastrophic failure in our drivetrain midway through competition and placed 7th. This year, I led the aerodynamic analysis, mechanical design and machine shop manufacturing portions of the vehicle, The Plaid Panther.
In my third year on the team, I was the technical leader for the design and construction of our vehicle, Cheryl. This was our team's first attempt at building a fared recumbent tricycle and we placed 3rd at competition. This year, I stepped back from composites production and was mostly involved with team leadership, mechanical design, manufacturing and the writing of the design report.
During my final year on the team, we refined the fared recumbent tricycle and built Llama del Rey. The team placed fourth at competition. I was most involved with team leadership, mechanical design and the design report.
Our 2012 vehicle's drivetrain was quite unique, featuring a set of adjustable pedals on a linkage which allow for quick rider height changes. The pit crew simply needs to pull a pin on each pedal and slide it to a new position, a process which takes under five seconds total. I helped take this design from a concept to a fully manufacturable design. At competition, the drivetrain won the Knovel Award for Design Innovation.
During my time on the team, the team has moved to building monocoque structural fairings for the vehicle. These fairings are very strong (tested to support 600 lb top load) and very aerodynamic (simulated Cd = .054). In my three years on the team, I have led aerodynamic analysis using STAR-CCM+ CFD.
Our tricycles feature an Ackerman steering geometry with custom-designed knuckles and steering. The vehicle has a telescoping "steering wheel" style steering actuation and is very intuitive to ride.
More information about the team's recent work and designs can be found in the design reports linked below. I was the lead author for the 2015 & 2014 reports.