June 14, 2012 -- The team from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) took ninth place overall in the 15th Annual International ¼-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition held May 31 in Peoria, Ill. A total of 26 teams from across the U.S. and Canada participated in the event.
The competition is unique in that it provides a realistic 360-degree workplace experience. The teams are given only an engine and a set of tires, and spend the academic year designing and building a utility or recreational pulling tractor. A panel of industry experts judges each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics.
Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and on-site, they must sell their design, in a formal presentation to industry experts playing the role of a corporate management team. Finally, the tractors are put to the test in a performance demonstration comprised of four tractor pulls. One of the five components that comprise the overall score is maneuverability; UWRF tied for first place with Pennsylvania State University in the maneuverability category.
The UWRF team included Alex Donnay of Glencoe, Minn., Jacob Hanneman of Edgar, Nicholas Hessler of Chippewa Falls, Kelsey Peterson of Mount Horeb, Anthony Reberg of Woodbury, Minn., and Devin Stuhr of Marion. With the exception of Reberg, all are agricultural engineering technology majors. Reberg has yet to declare a major.
The event is organized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers with support from numerous corporate sponsors including Wisconsin-based Case IH and Briggs & Stratton. The competition is a recruiting event for many of the sponsors, who are looking to hire engineers with strong technical, communication, and leadership skills.
The team's advisor is Joseph Shakal, assistant professor in the Ag Engineering Technology Department. For more information, call Shakal at 715-425-3985.
The UW-River Falls Falcon Pullers team included (from left to right) Nick Hessler, Tony Reberg, Devin Stuhr, Kelsey Peterson, Jacob Hannemann, and Alex Donnay.