UMR deploys human power to Nevada desert

Human-powered vehicle racer Jerrod Bouchard, a senior in mechanical engineering, recorded the third-fastest time ever by a college student this fall during the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nev.


Bouchard’s best time in four tries was 59.26 mph. The record is 61.4 mph.
Human-powered vehicles are recumbent bicycles with aerodynamic shells. Bouchard and his UMR teammates worked on their vehicle, StreaMiner, for about a year prior to the event. The team consists of chief engineer Bouchard, aerodynamics designer Andrew Sourk, a senior in aerospace engineering, team leader Craig George, a senior in electrical engineering, and composite specialist Matt Brown, a senior in mechanical engineering.
The annual speed challenge event, which was held Oct. 1-6 this year, is staged on a flat 5-mile stretch of highway near Battle Mountain. The road is closed to traffic for approximately one hour before sunset during the contest. The riders get one attempt per day.
Several event organizers catch the human-powered vehicles as the racers attempt to slow down after the finish line. The riders are then extracted from their vehicles. Bouchard says you can tell he’s really “pushed it” when he’s unable to walk away for several minutes after the aerodynamic shell is removed from StreaMiner.
This year’s week-long event was marred by cold weather and wind. All racing was cancelled on Friday, Oct. 5, due to wind and snow, and the riders were unable to reach top speeds in the cold weather on Saturday. Oct. 6.
During one run, Bouchard topped 60 mph and even passed a vehicle that had started two minutes before him. But he had to slow down in order to overtake the other vehicle safely, a maneuverwhich cost him speed during the crucial stretch of road where the vehicles are officially timed.
Bouchard, Sourk, George and Brown are all members of UMR’s Human-Powered Vehicle Team, which won East Coast and West Coast championships in collegiate human-powered racing last spring. The Battle Mountain endeavor, which emphasizes sprinting speed, is a separate challenge that was born out of thelarger team’s success.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]