The Kansas State University Helwig Farms Quarter-Scale Tractor Team came home with two top finishes at the 21st annual American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.
The team competed May 31-June 3 in Peoria, Illinois, against 28 teams from universities in the U.S., Canada and Israel. Kansas State University’s A team took second place overall and its X team first overall. This is the 19th time in the last 21 years that one of the university’s teams has won or placed in the top three at the event.
“The students continue to build upon the tradition of excellence,” said Joe Harner, head of the biological and agricultural engineering department. “Year after year, our students come through and place in the top spots of this international competition. The success is a combined effort of our programs, the team advisors and, of course, our students.”
A panel of industry experts judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics. Teams submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and on-site must sell their design in a formal presentation to the panel. Finally, machines are put to the test in three performance events: three tractor pulls, a maneuverability course and a durability course.
The A team – juniors and seniors – averaged fourth in pulls and took second overall. The X team – freshmen and sophomores – took first in the oral presentation and first overall.
Team advisors are Pat Murphy, adjunct professor; Dan Flippo, assistant professor; Edwin Brokesh, instructor; Lou Ann Claassen, administrative specialist; and Jon Zeller, research technician, all from the biological and agricultural engineering department; and Ryan Zecha, Manhattan, biological and agricultural engineering alumnus.
The following students are members of the university’s Helwig Farms Quarter-Scale Tractor Team; leadership positions are also noted.
Braden Mishler, biological systems engineering, A team sponsorship co-chair, Arnold; Corbin Baldwin, biological systems engineering, X team vice president, Cimarron; Matt Loomis, agricultural technology management, equipment manager, Iuka; Megan Workman, agronomy, A team secretary, Lawrence; David Pullen, mechanical engineering, A team student council representative, Lenexa; Evan Ridder, biological systems engineering, A team, Leoti; E.J. Swihart, biological systems engineering, A Team, Manhattan; Logan Windholz, biological systems engineering, X team equipment manager, Marquette; Jace Shirley, agricultural technology management, A team, Oakley; Nicholas Meyer, biological systems engineering, A team treasurer, Tampa; Curtis Doughramaji, biological systems engineering, A team president, Topeka; Conor Hamilton, agricultural technology management, equipment manager, Turon; Brett Schwarz, agricultural technology management, A team sponsorship co-chair, Wamego; and Kaleb Keehn, biological systems engineering, X team president, Wetmore.