Student teams gear up for national, international competition

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Husker Motorsports team members work to repair the car on June 19 after its clutch pin was sheared.
Husker Motorsports team members work to repair the car on June 19 after its clutch pin was sheared.
From Formula SAE racing to other student design competitions, Nebraska Engineering students have succeeded in gaining national and international recognition.

Here’s a look at some of the recent successes for UNL teams and some events coming up in the next few months:


Nebraska’s ASABE team is looking for another national competition championship in late July when it competes in two design competitions at the group’s Annual International Meeting in New Orleans.

This year’s competition has two tasks for student teams: a basketball shootout and “Floating the River.”

The shootout requires the construction of a fountain that will launch three foam balls into a basketball hoop that is placed 6 feet away and 39.5 inches off the ground. Points are awarded for each successful shot or for the balls hitting the rim or backboard.

For “Floating the River,” teams must utilize the water pump to keep a raft that is at least 10 inches by 8 inches within the outer 10 inches of the pool. Points are earned for the raft completing successful revolutions of the pool without tipping.


UNL's X-Team won the International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Compeititon this past May in Peoria, Illinois. The event was hosted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Twenty-six freshman and sophomore students are on the UNL quarter-scale team, which competed against 14 other teams in its division and edged out teams from the University of Illinois and Iowa State University to take the top prize.

Teams are given a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. The design of the tractor is up to them. Industry leaders judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics. The process gives team members an opportunity to experiment with complex technology that's becoming increasingly common in the industry.

Read more about the Quarter Scale Team


Husker Motorsports, UNL’s racing team, took 41st place among internal-combustion teams when it hosted the annual Formula SAE event, which ran June 17-20 at Lincoln Airpark.

In Formula SAE, teams from across the United States and around the world gather to race cars that they have designed and built. Rules and limitations for the car's design and the budget for the project are determined by Formula SAE.

Student teams presented their cars to a panel of judges – engineers and businessmen from industry. Teams are judged not only on how the car performs on the track in the acceleration, skid pad, autocross and endurance events, but are also given scores for presentation, design and cost.

Read more about Formula SAE Lincoln and see a video of the Husker Motorsports car in action


A team of UNL architectural engineering students took home two awards from the Architectural Engineering Institute’s annual student design competition at the group’s conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in late March.

The 11 competing teams were tasked with designing a vertical farm building for a non-profit growing power. The building would have to be constructed in the diverse climates of both Milwaukee and Miami, Florida.

The UNL team of Geof Wright, Andrew Reinke and Josh Wilson won in the electrical systems design category. The team of Alycia Noble, Sara Robbins, Wyatt Suddarth and Brianna Brass was a runner-up in mechanical systems design. Wright also competed in construction design, and Linsey Rohe, Adam Steinbach and Katie Fickle were took part in the structural design competition.

Read more about the AEI Team


The UNL Seismic Design Team took fourth place at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition in Boston in early April.

In all, 39 schools had teams competing and UNL's team, comprised mostly of students from The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, was one of 17 whose structure did not collapse. The UNL team consisted of Allison Brock, Jacinta Christiansen, Jonathan Ingram, KayLee Taylor and Blake Weatherly and faculty advisor Terri Norton, associate professor of construction engineering.

The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) was chosen the overall winner, with UCLA and California-Berkeley finishing second and third, respectively.

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