Siloam Springs, Ark. (April 22, 2010) - John Brown University’s Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) took second place in the Open Class at the national competition hosted by the Institute for Affordable Transportation.
The vehicle was built by engineering students Caleb Shelburne and Alyssa Milroy as their senior capstone project. They were mentored by Young-Gurl Kim, director of the Institute for Biblical Community Development, and Clifford Peters, appropriate technology specialist.
"This is the second BUV on which I've had the privilege to be team advisor, and it was a very technically challenging project,” said Clifford Peters, team advisor. “The many hours invested in it were very worthwhile, though, and this vehicle is tough and versatile, capable of functioning as both a tractor and a hauler in extreme terrain. It's been a joy to work with Caleb and Alyssa on this machine and I salute their hard work and commitment as well as their good attitudes throughout the process.”
JBU students competed against six other universities in the Open Class and six in the Main Class in a grueling series of events, which tested the capabilities and toughness of the vehicles.
The goal of this year’s competition was to design a vehicle for agricultural use. Testing events included trenching, plowing, and a tractor pull, in addition to agility, acceleration, endurance, obstacle and mogul events. Each vehicle was required to carry a 55-gallon barrel of water during the competition in order to simulate typical use in developing countries.
The JBU entry this year was a unique four-wheel drive design incorporating two articulating, oscillating bodies, allowing for steering simplicity while keeping all four tires on the ground even through extreme terrain.
The annual BUV competition is for teams of students to conceive, design, and fabricate a vehicle that can be utilized in the developing world. The process takes nearly a year to complete with the final test being the competition held in Indiana.