NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Brings Students & Industry Together

Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Overall Winners

Overall Champion – Purdue University

Teams of college students from across the country gathered in Ames, Iowa last week to compete against each other with the fluid-powered bicycles they had designed and built for the The Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge. NFPA member, Danfoss, hosted the event at their headquarters building and test track. Seven university teams competed, including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cleveland State University, Murray State University, Purdue University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, and Western Michigan University. For many of these schools, this competition served as their senior capstone design course for seniors and for many of these students, it was the first time they had taken a course in fluid power.

The competition is based on an initiative pioneered by the Parker Hannifin Corporation and strives to promote original thinking in a competitive setting by combining two technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another—human-powered vehicles and fluid power. The Challenge supports the education of next generation engineers by exposing them to the design challenges associated with a fluid-powered vehicle and teaching them the value of fluid power and electronics for motion control.

Watching these students work together and compete while seeing the passion they had for their projects and the technology was amazing. In the end, Purdue University took home the Overall Champion award. Other awards were given for Teamwork, Best Paper/Presentation, Best Design and for each of the three bike races (sprint, efficiency and endurance).

Silver and gold-level donors to NFPA Pascal Society served as judges and got to meet and interact with all of these incredible students.

Thanks to all of the generous sponsors of this event – Parker Hannifin, SunSource, Eaton Corporation, LubeTech and Danfoss.

For more information about the Vehicle Challenge or the Pascal Society, contact Lynn Beyer at or (414) 778-3364.


2017 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Teams

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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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University of Cincinnati Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

University of Cincinnati

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Cleveland State Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

Cleveland State University

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Western Michigan University Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

Western Michigan University

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Purdue University Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

Purdue University

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Murray State University Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

Murray State University


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University of Akron Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Team

University of Akron

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