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Ohio University selected to host regional human-powered vehicle student competition

Colleen Carow | Nov 16, 2015
Human-Powered Vehicle Student Competition

Ohio University selected to host regional human-powered vehicle student competition

Colleen Carow | Nov 16, 2015

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has chosen Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology as host for its 2016 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) East Competition, to be held on campus May 13-15, 2016. It’s one of just two held in the United States annually, with only three other competitions located in Latin America, Mexico, and India.

“ASME is pleased to collaborate with an organization of the prestige and stature of Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology in the planning of one of ASME’s signature events for college students,” said Julio C. Guerrero, president of ASME.  

The event is expected to draw several hundred students from across the globe, with teams from Egypt, India, Puerto Rico and Canada already planning to attend.

“This competition fits well with our college’s vision of creating for good,” said Robe Professor of Mechanical Engineering Greg Kremer, also chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Holding an international event on our beautiful campus in Athens can help us spread the good news about the good things happening at OHIO, while doing our part to make these useful events available to students.”

Russ College students participated for the first time in the 2015 competition held at the University of Florida in May, bringing home the sportsmanship award for helping other teams keep their vehicles on track.

Last year’s co-captain, Cody Petitt, a mechanical engineering master’s degree student, said members started brainstorming the possibility of hosting since leaving Florida.

“We wanted to shoot big after we had a successful first year, so we approached the judges who had mentioned hosting the event next year, to get more details and talk about ideas we believed would be beneficial to incorporate,” he said. “Throughout the ride home, many ideas were passed within the team members about how to make the event more realistic and the courses more representative of everyday commuting scenarios.”

As for the team itself, John Mullen, a mechanical engineering master’s degree student who founded the OHIO team after having participated in one at his own alma mater, has high hopes.

“This year, the team has expanded greatly and is hoping to improve on the process, design and performance of our vehicle,” he said. “We want to establish ourselves as a competitive team and expand the knowledge base of our members by creating opportunities and connections that aren’t learned within the classroom environment.”

Kremer voiced support for the team’s readiness to race, and to host.

“We’re proud of the fact that the team's success in last year’s competition went beyond the performance of their human powered vehicle and included sportsmanship and lots of service to help run the event,” he said. “That shows the team is ready, with the help of the University community, to run a successful international event.” 

The team is seeking sponsors for the event and the team, with naming opportunities available, and is seeking volunteers to help with event setup and management. Interested parties can send a message to