Boise State students from the Mechanical Engineering Club, the Enginerds, took home a first-place finish for Best Innovation in the Human Powered Vehicle category of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers E-Fest Digital Competition. This design and innovation competition allows students to apply engineering principles through the design, fabrication, and racing of human powered vehicles. An electric component was added to the competition for 2022.
“This competition applies everything you learn in class to physical, hands-on fabrication, giving us that experience and ability to create a product from knowledge and application,” said Mechanical Engineering Club President Julianna Buzzard.
The Enginerds received the top award and $500 prize for their innovative approach to creating a lightweight, efficient, and user-serviceable e-trike. Designed to reduce downtime due to maintenance, the concept was based on pre-design interviews with local Boise bike shop owners about service issues they faced. The user serviceable design elements include open-sourced software allowing owners to tweak and adjust the motor settings to their individual needs, and a 3D printed gearbox.
“We didn’t overthink the design,” lead designer and engineering senior Chris Dagher said. “We were able to make it simple by limiting our scope and constraining ourselves to create something, test and iterate. That helped set us apart from the competition.”
The Enginerds learned from past experiences and information passed down from previous competition submissions. This preparation helped them record their best finish in competition history and the team spent countless hours in the Engineering Innovation Studio applying calculations and applications from engineering courses to their design.
“There was a lot of work and more commitment from the team this year than what’s been done in the past,” mechanical engineering senior Gavin Hamilton said. “We’re excited that all the time, effort, and hours spent in the shop paid off.”