Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Chainless Challenge

A team of engineering undergraduates tackled Parker Hanninfin’s Chainless Challenge this spring.
They were the first team from Case Western Reserve to enter the competition, which was launched in 2006 to spark students’ interest in hydraulics. Participants build a bike in which the power is transmitted from the pedals to the wheel using fluid power instead of chains.
The Case Western Reserve team, which consisted of mechanical engineering students Kate Schmitmeyer, David Takahashi and Christopher Fann, finished strong in a number of categories, going up against veteran teams with three-to-five years of past experience. They ranked in the top two-to-four spots out of nine teams in various categories, including Manufacturability and Workmanship, Best Design and the second-best time overall. The accomplishments of the MAE Team in these categories brought in a prize of about $2,000.

Undergraduates Andrew Gronski and Kevin Johnstone also contributed to the construction of the bike.
The competition took place April 9-11, and other competitors included Purdue University, Murray State, the University of Akron, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, Western Michigan and the Illinois Institute of Technology.