This October, Jerrod Bouchard will attempt to become the fastest college student to be propelled by his or her own power.
Bouchard, a senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will try to break the collegiate human-powered land speed record of 61.5 mph Oct 1-6 in Battle Mountain, Nev.
Seated in a bullet-shaped bicycle, Bouchard will be pedaling down a remote highway in Battle Mountain that is said to be one of the straightest, fastest and smoothest surfaces in the world.Jerrod Bouchard (left) is determined to break the collegiate human land speed record this fall.
Like a NASCAR driver, Bouchard is working with a talented crew to make sure his vehicle is sound. Members of the team include aerodynamics designer Andrew Sourk, a senior in aerospace engineering from St. Joseph, Mo.; team leader Craig George, a senior in electrical engineering from St. Joseph; and composite specialist Matt Brown, a senior in mechanical engineering from Rolla. Bouchard, who is from Camdenton, Mo., is the chief engineer.
Bouchard, Sourk, George and Brown are all members of UMR’s Human-Powered Vehicle Team, which won East Coast and West Coast championships in collegiate human-powered racing last spring. The Battle Mountain endeavor is a separate challenge that was born out of the larger team’s success.
Human-powered vehicles are recumbent bicycles with aerodynamic shells. All summer, the four-man UMR team has been designing and building a new vehicle for the record-breaking attempt. Recently, Bouchard and his crew took the new bike to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they tested it in a wind tunnel. They are also planning to test it at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis.
Battle Mountain has been the site of many record-breaking performances by professional, collegiate and amateur riders. The records are sanctioned by the International Human-Powered Vehicle Racing Association.
“Our forecasted performance is looking extremely optimistic,” Bouchard says, “and we are confident that we will break the current record.”
Source: University of Missouri-Rolla