2014 Chainless Challenge team wins one category at national competition

05/06/2014

With faculty advisor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, the team of John Meehan, Ting Liao, Marc Prasse, Katie Neville, Tony Califano, and Erik Reale.
With faculty advisor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, the team of John Meehan, Ting Liao, Marc Prasse, Katie Neville, Tony Califano, and Erik Reale.
The Chainless Challenge Illinois team, which won the Parker Hannifin Chainless Challenge in 2013, could not repeat the feat this year.

"The team experienced trouble with the bike’s function due to damaged 8-speed gear hub, microcontroller issues, and newly-added adjustable accumulator orifice size," said faculty advisor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler.

Technical difficulties may have kept the Illinois participants from the overall prize, but their efforts did not go to waste; they brought home first place in the Best Paper and Presentation category from the Irvine, California competition.

And, according to the student captain of the team, there is much more to success than who first crossed the finish line.

"Participating in the Parker Hannifin Chainless Challenge was a fantastic way to get a start to finish design experience," said MechSE senior Kathryn Neville. "It was wonderful to see the design come together during the build process and then successfully ride our bicycle during the competition. I also really enjoyed meeting other students in California during the races and learning about their design choices."

"Overall, it was an amazing experience."

Want to enjoy this experience first-hand? Professor Hsiao-Wecksler is looking for students who want to be on next year's team! Involvement would consist of one semester of ME 470 (senior design) and one semester of independent study (ME 497). Underclassmen also welcome.