Contact this office:

NEWS: Human Powered Vehicle

< Back to Human Powered Vehicle
< Back to all News

Rose-Hulman Hosting Collegiate Human Powered Vehicle Racing Event

April 22, 2011

More video here
New York Times Blogger, Jim Motavalli

Innovation, creativity and competition was featured April 29 to May 1 [2011] during the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Human Powered Vehicle East Coast Challenge collegiate racing event, hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The ASME competition features highly advanced vehicles designed and fabricated by some of today's best and brightest mechanical engineering students.  These prototype human powered vehicles demonstrate efficient, sustainable and practical human-powered vehicles, and could be used for everyday use such as commuting to work and transporting groceries from the market.


Showcasing Transportation Technology: The upcoming human powered vehicle racing event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway features highly advanced vehicles designed by some of today's best and brightest mechanical engineering students.

Thirty-three teams from throughout the world competed in a series of events focused on the vehicles' overall performance, speed, safety and technical design -- it all took place at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). 


[News Story:] On April 29, from 4-5 p.m., all competitors will participate in an event photo, followed by a demonstration by Canadian cyclist Sam Whittingham, world speed record holder on a recumbent vehicle.  His Varna Diablo human powered vehicle reached 82.819 mph in 2009.

The collegiate competitors will be put to the test on April 30 with the sprint and utility endurance events.  The sprint event, from 8 a.m. to noon, will measure the vehicles for maximum speed and will take place along the straightaway of the IMS track, crossing the famed yard of bricks at the finish line.  The utility endurance event, from 2-5 p.m. at the northwest end of the track, will test the vehicles' ability to negotiate turns and other obstacles, while serving as functional transportation for everyday use.

The final day of competition, on May 1, will showcase the speed endurance event, a grueling 2.5-hour marathon-style race that tests the skills and stamina of the drivers and pushing the speed, stability and overall soundness of the vehicles to their limits.  This all-out race will be conducted, starting at 8 a.m., on a portion of the track road course.  At the conclusion of all events, top-ranking teams will be awarded cash prizes and team trophies during an awards banquet.  Whittingham will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

All race and skills events are free and open to the public.

Rose-Hulman is the three-time defending Human Powered Vehicle Challenge national champions after having top-scoring performances in the ASME's east and west coast events during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 competitions. 

 HPV-round turn      
Rounding Turn: The Human Powered Vehicle East Coast Challenge will test the sleek and aerodynamic vehicles in sprint and utility endurance events at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.   

International competitors feature Chitkara Institute of Engineering and Technology (India), Universidad Central de Venezuela, Universidad de Los Andes (Columbia) and University of Toronto.  Other American colleges and universities bringing teams to the event are University of Akron, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, Arkansas State University, California State University Fresno, Central Connecticut State University, University of Central Florida, Colorado State University, Daniel Webster College (N.H.), Ferris State University (Mich.), Florida Institute of Technology, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Grove City College (Pa.), University of Kansas, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, New Jersey Institute of Technology, College of New York, North Dakota State University, University of Oklahoma, Rochester Institute of Technology, Un/ion College (N.Y.), Villanova University, Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"Having the opportunity to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be an once-in-a-lifetime experience for engineering students," states Rose-Hulman Human Powered Vehicle Team Faculty Advisor Michael Moorhead, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.  "This has become the signature event for collegiate human powered racing."

The event is taking place as IMS continues its Centennial Era celebration, honoring the 100th anniversaries of the opening of the track in 1909 and the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.


Award-Winning Team: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a three-time defending champion of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Human Powered Vehicle East Coast Challenge competition.

The ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge is just one more way to highlight the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's legacy as an incubator and proving ground of transportation innovation for more than a century," said Jeff Belskus, IMS president and chief executive officer.  "We're pleased Rose-Hulman is bringing this event and the future generation of automotive engineers to IMS."

Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam expressed gratitude to IMS for its participation in the event, and said the Speedway's heritage as The Greatest Race Course in the World is a perfect fit for the ASME event.  He pointed out that the Speedway is owned by Terre Haute's Hulman-George family, which has also played a significant role in the development of Rose-Hulman as the nation's top college for undergraduate engineering education.

"We're fortunate to have the Speedway's generosity and support for Rose-Hulman and our students," Branam noted.  "Our students learn by doing.  Racing their own design, built with their own hands, at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the ultimate learning experience for our students and others throughout the world."

ASME President Robert T. Simmons stated: "This ASME competition brings classroom engineering theory and design to actual concept and fabrication.  These highly talented students learn to work in a team environment, thus providing them with the tools to be successful in the engineering workforce."

For more details about the 2011 ASME HPVC-East event visit

Latest Rose-Hulman HPV Video