Colorado State University Engineering Students Win National Honors in Human-Powered Vehicle, SAE Formula Competitions May 2-3

Note to Editors: Photos of the vehicles are available with the news release at

Colorado State University mechanical engineering students have again won first place in a national American Society of Mechanical Engineers human-powered vehicle competition.

Colorado State has won first place three of the past four years. The team placed second last year.

This year’s team competed in the HPVC West competition in Portland, Ore. The group consisted of seniors Dan Hipwood, Evan Jarvis, Mike Porter, Brett Schlueter, Christine Sednek and Matt Shirley. They were advised by Steve Schaeffer, an instructor in Colorado State’s College of Engineering.

Hosted by Portland State University, the competition involved 27 universities, all competing for pedal-powered supremacy. Colorado State won first place overall in the utility class and second place in the utility race. The team also earned first place in engineering design, and ranked fifth place overall for single-rider vehicles.

In a separate competition, the SAE Formula Hybrid team finished second out of 30 teams in the 2009 SAE Formula Hybrid competition in Loudon, N.H., giving Colorado State its first formula car competition trophy.

The team consisted of students Joe Bixby, Kyle Butterfield, Matt Craft, Mike Gordon, Adam Havens and Alan Morine. The students were advised by Professor Patrick Fitzhorn.

The CSU team scored fourth in the engineering design finals where the top four cars are judged best in engineering design, analysis, fabrication, assembly and testing.  They were first in two events – the 75-meter electric acceleration event and the 75-meter hybrid acceleration event.

"I think the reason they did so well was based on their strong industry support, especially from a Colorado company, Nilar Inc. in Centennial," Fitzhorn said. "Nilar engineers were generous not only with their patented battery technology, but they were equally as generous with their time and information. It is clear to me that this success is specifically due to the partnering between bright and committed CSU mechanical engineering students interested in new energy technologies, and a Colorado company working in state-of-the-art energy systems."