Penn State student club places high in engineering competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Two teams of students from Penn State's colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering recently combined to earn a fifth place overall placing in the International Quarter Scale Tractor Competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

The students -- members of the Penn State Pullers club -- completely designed and built the miniature tractors they entered in the competition. The contest involves written design reports, formal oral presentations, and judging based on safety and ergonomics, appearance, maneuverability, sound level and pulling capacities.

According to the rules of the competition, the design must be "sold" to a panel of industry expert judges. Beyond innovative design and design-related research and tests, the judging criteria also include serviceability, manufacturability, cost analysis and team management. Each university can enter two tractors: A-team and X-team.

A-team tractors are newly designed and built this year; X-team tractors are improved versions of the tractor entered in last year's contest. X-team members must be junior students. This year the competition included 27 A-teams and 12 X-teams from universities in the United States and Canada.

Penn State's A-team earned second place for the 1,500 pounds low hitch pull sub-category and first place in the maneuverability competition; the X-Team won the Written Report Award and second-place overall in its class.

"I am so proud of our team members for their extraordinary achievements, and I am grateful for their excellent design and fabrication, collaboration, hard work and great amount of time spent on this tractor," said team advisor Jude Liu, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

"It was great to hear 'Penn State' announced four times during the awards banquet."

The Pullers, which has been a competitive team for 11 years, are captained this year by Josh Lounder of Burgettstown and Nathan Drzal of Wernersville, seniors in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering major.

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Last Updated June 18, 2012