Meet the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Teams – Part 1

Programs like the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, Pascal Society, and Tom Wanke Legacy Fund donors. Support these efforts by making a donation.

Twenty-three teams from universities around the country are getting ready to participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Final Competitions in April at Norgren in Colorado and Danfoss Power Solutions in Iowa.

The Vehicle Challenge is an undergraduate program that requires engineering students to redesign a traditional bicycle using hydraulics as power transmission as a senior capstone design project or as an extracurricular activity. Students experience real-world engineering under strict deadlines for designing, building, testing, and demonstrating their designs. NFPA members serve as mentors and judges to guide the students in their learning. Through the program, students learn about fluid power, build a network of peers and industry professionals from all over the country and compete for cash prizes in four separate races – sprint, efficiency, regen, and endurance.

In addition to our five Power Partner universities, here are some of the teams competing this year.

Arizona State University is joining the competition for the third time this year. They used a three-wheeled vehicle last year, pictured on the left. Find talented candidates at their Career Center.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo has been with the Vehicle Challenge program from the very beginning. This is their seventh year. Recruit their students through the Cal Poly Career Services Office.

This is Kennesaw State University’s third year participating in the Vehicle Challenge competition. Kennesaw State, in Georgia, is located about 15 minutes from Atlanta. Their Career Planning and Development Office can connect you to these students.

Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California is back for its second year competing in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge program. They also have a Fluid Power Club. Visit their Career and Professional Development Office to post a job, internship or micro-internship, or to schedule a site visit.

Michigan Technological University has participated in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge program for four years.  Their bright yellow bike, pictured at the right, stood out from the crowd. Their Career Services office is your link to recruitment opportunities at Michigan Tech.

Our newest team in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge comes from Tennessee State University. The team at this HBCU is off to a strong start and we are looking forward to seeing their vehicle at the final competition in April. Check out their Career Development Center to learn the best ways to engage with these students.

The students who participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge have hands-on experience designing and testing fluid power systems, working as a team, and presenting their findings. We encourage you to recruit from these schools. Please reach out to Mary Pluta at if you would be interested in connecting directly with the teams or their advisors.

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