Fluid Power Journal

NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Brings Students and Industry Together

Teams of college students from across the country gathered in Ames, Iowa, to compete against each other with the fluid-powered bicycles they had designed and built for The Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge. NFPA member, Danfoss, hosted the event at its headquarters building and test track. Seven university teams competed, including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cleveland State University, Murray State University, Purdue University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, and Western Michigan University. For many of these schools, this competition served as their senior capstone design course for seniors, and for many of these students, it was the first time they had taken a course in fluid power.

The competition is based on an initiative pioneered by the Parker Hannifin Corp. and strives to promote original thinking in a competitive setting by combining two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another—human-powered vehicles and fluid power. The Challenge supports the education of next-generation engineers by exposing them to the design challenges associated with a fluid-powered vehicle and teaching them the value of fluid power and electronics for motion control.

Purdue University took home the Overall Champion award. Other awards were given for Teamwork, Best Paper/Presentation, Best Design, and for each of the three bike races (sprint, efficiency, and endurance). Silver and gold-level donors to NFPA Pascal Society served as judges and got to meet and interact with all of the students. Sponsors for the event included Parker Hannifin, SunSource, Eaton Corp., LubeTech, and Danfoss. For more information, contact Lynn Beyer at 414-778-3364.

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