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From Project Planning To National Champion Buv Design, Build And Win

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Mechanical/Manufacturing ET Design Projects

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.654.1 - 11.654.16



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Paper Authors


Gary Drigel Miami University

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Gary Drigel is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Technology Department at Miami University (Ohio). He received his Bachelor of Science Degree (1973) and Masters Degree (1980) in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He has also completed all his course work and part of his thesis work for a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering at UC. Gary is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio. He has 30 years of engineering and research experience gained at Armco Research and Technology in Middletown, Ohio and has been a professor at Miami University for 5 years. He can be reached at, Miami University, 4200 East University Blvd., Middletown, OH 45042.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

From Project Planning to National Champion - BUV Design, Build and Win

Abstract The process in which senior Mechanical Engineering Technology students at Miami University planned, designed, built, tested and ultimately won a national design competition for a Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) is described. Included in this process are a Project Management Course (ENT 316) and two Senior Design capstone courses (ENT 497 and ENT 498). This is a detailed description of the courses, skills, planning, analysis, feedback and assessment. Introduction Miami University offers Associate and Bachelor Degree Programs in Applied Science with concentrations in Engineering Technology on both of its regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio. In 2002 a new BS Degree in Applied Science with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering Technology was first offered. This program contains new courses including: Project Management, Mechanical Vibration and Finite Element Analysis along with other traditional Mechanical Engineering courses. Miami University also requires a group of courses (called the Miami Plan) designed to produce a well rounded graduate. The Miami Plan includes courses in English composition, fine arts, humanities, social science, cultures, natural science, and mathematics. Miami students who won the national BUV competition were from the second graduating class from the new BS Mechanical program.

The process followed by this team of three Mechanical Engineering Technology students is the culmination and integration of their Engineering Technology and Miami Plan education into a project management and a senior design sequence which ultimately resulted in the design and construction of a transportation vehicle. This vehicle, called a Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV), was designed and constructed to meet the performance specifications of the Institute of Affordable Transportation (IAT), , a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, IN. The BUV is a safe, simple, low cost, low maintenance, easy to manufacture form of transportation for peoples of third world countries. In order to design a vehicle of this complexity the students must research, design, build and test numerous components and sub- assemblies based on their designs. A wide variety of engineering disciplines are employed in this process including conceptualization, research, design, detailing, parts procurement, manufacturing, machining, assembly, troubleshooting, mechanical controls, electrical controls validation, and documentation.

The concept of the BUV was developed by Will Austin, founder of the IAT. The IAT mission statement is “To improve lives in developing countries by facilitating the spread of simple vehicles that can be assembled almost anywhere, by almost anyone”. The IAT organizes a yearly competition for teams from colleges and universities through out the United States and Canada to evaluate their designs using a number of performance challenges. The organization also requires that vehicle speed be kept to a minimum and that the design be oriented toward women of developing countries. The premise is that if the maximum speed is low, men will not have interest in the vehicle. Cost is another criterion; if the vehicle is too expensive people in


Drigel, G. (2006, June), From Project Planning To National Champion Buv Design, Build And Win Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--306

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