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. Chang Ye


The Human Powered Vehicle Competition (HPVC) is held annually by ASME at a few locations. The University of Akron has competed in the ASME-East and ASME-West competitions over the past handful of years against universities from all over the world. Objectives of each team for the competition are three-fold: vehicle design, racing performance, and innovation. Our senior design project involved working on the innovation concept for ASME-East 2018 held at Penn State University during the weekend of 4/13. Speed variable steering was decided upon by the entire HPVC team early in the design process as the innovation choice for this year’s bike. It involves a mechanism that dampens the steering automatically and gradually as bike velocity increases, thus making it more difficult to turn the wheels at high speeds. Benefits of this innovation include increased safety by reducing speed-wobbles, increased rider handling & stability, and decreased overall lap times. There is also an established budget for the team and, in turn, the innovation subdivision to operate within while designing and testing the product.


Post-Competition Results

Because the competition has taken place before this report’s due date, the final results from ASME-East are available. The innovation concept performed well and succeeded in the proposed benefits found in the following report. Our team results can be seen below. Note that a field of 47 teams competed this year from across the U.S. as well as teams from Egypt, India, and Puerto Rico. We are proud of our entire team’s performance this competition year.

Results: 2nd Overall; 7th Design Report; 3rd Innovation; 1st Men’s Drag Race; 2nd Women’s Drag Race; 2nd Endurance Race

HPV Innovation - UAkron '18.mp4 (98009 kB)
Human Powered Vehicle Innovation Video

signature page.pdf (29 kB)
Honors Signature Page; without Honors College Dean Signature