Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from Terre Haute, Indiana will be the first American team to compete in the Uni SA Australian HPV Super Series when it joins the field for Round 2 at Loxton on the 7th of May, 2017.
The team, comprising of six mechanical engineering students, and two support staff, will travel to Australia to race their carbon fibre ‘delta’ recumbent HPV, Rose Pedal.
President of the Rose-Hulman Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Team, Ariella Halevi, said they became aware of the Australian competition through the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) when investigating broader options and other global races to push their boundaries of design and endurance.
“At the end of last year the team spoke about different competitions we could enter, and with a new bike under construction every year, we thought why should we not give this race a go.”
Funding and support has been established enabling the Institute to prepare, travel and enter the event. Included in the list of sponsors is global cycling component manufacturer SRAM, having supplied high quality equipment for the build. The students are receiving funding from the Heads of Rose-Hulman’s faculty departments and as well as donations.
Travelling half way around the globe and entering a new competition, Rose-Hulman have set themselves realistic expectations. While average in duration for the Australian series at 6 hours, the Loxton event will be a step up for the Americans who would generally race much shorter distances. The Institute competes in races conducted by the ASME, across the East and West coast with the longest duration being 2.5 hours.
“We don’t expect to place highly as we are focusing more on building the bike and preparing for travel, with limited training time, although we are definitely ready. We are bringing as much material as we can to cater for various contingencies”, Halevi said.
“This trip has allowed us to apply knowledge from the class room. We have been able to model stresses and forces and see how they work and fail. We are very excited to compete and we appreciate all the support and encouragement that we are receiving” she added.
The team arrive in Australia on May 4th, with their vehicle and equipment shorty after.