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Intellect

BYU student engineers win regional design competition

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers recently awarded first place to six Brigham Young University students for their engineering project at regional ASME competition.

The students received the award for designing and building a fully rideable, fully suspended, three-wheeled recumbent tadpole cycle. Building the tricycle was part of the students' senior capstone project.

Members of the team included Josh Balling, Daniel Broadbent, Cheri Burgess, Jesse Cannon, Albin Dittli and David Dawson.

The capstone project came from Happijac Company, which produces products for the recreation vehicle industry. The president of the company, Martin Rasmussen, asked them to design and build a fully suspended three-wheel recumbent tadpole tricycle that was more comfortable and accessible than previous designs. The team focused on the design of the steering system and brakes to meet Rasmussen's requests.

"I'm excited about the work they've done," Rasmussen said.

After Rasmussen refines the design, he hopes to put the tricycle into production.

Because team members come from three different disciplines, working well together becomes one of the challenges of the projects. Four of the students are studying mechanical engineering, one is studying industrial design and one is studying manufacturing engineering technology.

"The team was successful because they worked synergistically together," said Chris Rotz, a BYU associate professor of mechanical engineering who coached the team.

"We had to find the balance among the disciplines," said Cheri Burgess, the team leader for the project. "Mechanical engineers wanted to make sure the trike functioned, industrial design wanted it to look nice, and manufacturing engineering technology wanted to make sure it is possible to make it."

Because they won the regional competition, the team's project will be judged at the AMSE's national competition later this year.

For more information, contact Chris Rotz at (801) 422-3748.

Writer: Liesel Enke

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