Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ashok Ramasubramanian




chariot, safety, sustinable, vehicle, aerodynamic


The Union College Human Powered Vehicle Team has designed, built and tested Chester’s Chariot for the 2014 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. The goal of this year’s team was produce an efficient, sustainable, and practical human powered vehicle with a high degree of safety. The team conducted gear ratio analysis, beam bending analysis, aerodynamic analysis using computational and analytical methods. In addition, physical testing was completed to demonstrate the safety and performance of Chester’s Chariot. Chester’s Chariot has the capability of obtaining higher speeds due to an optimized gear set. Last year’s vehicle did not have enough high gears and were not able to reach their desired speeds. This year’s vehicle drivetrain is consisted of a 2 chainring crankset of 39 and 53 teeth, and a 9 speed 11-34 teeth cassette. The gears were chosen through optimization and performance testing. The maximum calculated velocity is 35 mph whereas the previous team’s was 26 mph. In addition, two disc brakes are used on each side of the vehicle instead of single caliper brake at the rear wheel. The steering component of the vehicle is comprised of a single tie rod that connects the two front wheels and was designed using the Ackermann Steering Geometry. With these changes, Chester’s Chariot is capable of making tighter turns, obtaining higher speeds while still maintaining low speeds for uphill climbs and a more reliable braking system.