Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Scott Sawyer

First Reader

Dr. Daniel Deckler


The University of Akron Human Powered Vehicle Design Team began this academic year with a mission to create a practical, lightweight, safe, and efficient human powered vehicle. The main objectives of ZC18 were inspired by competition in the 2018 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge at ASME E-Fest East. In addition to adhering to the rules of this competition, scoring high on the submitted reports, and competing well in the racing events, the team set a goal to assist in furthering knowledge related to the topic of human powered vehicles.

ZC18 was constructed nearly completely in the University of Akron’s Design Center with research, design, analysis, testing, and assembly done solely by undergraduate engineering students. These students volunteered approximately 50-60 total man hours per week during the 2017-2018 academic year, while utilizing the university’s resources to manufacture a competitive vehicle for the 2018 season.

ZC18 is a recumbent tricycle consisting of a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame and a carbon fiber fairing. This vehicle is structurally sound and maintains a team required factor of safety of 2.0. ZC18 utilizes an indirect linkage style steering system, hydraulic brakes, a triangular shaped Rollover Protection System (RPS), a versatile drivetrain for both speed and endurance events, and a carbon fiber fairing that provides a drag reduction and protection from the elements. By encompassing a three-point harness, lights, a mirror, and a variety of other safety equipment, ZC18 is built not only for the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, but also as a method of transportation for a daily commute.