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CoE team scores design success

Mizzou Basic Utility Vehicle team members, from left, Brandon McMillen, Ray Troy, Swee-Foo Ong, Brian Marstall and Tim Colyer consult while Brian Robichaux takes the helm during the 2006 BUV Design Competition in Indianapolis, Ind.

The College of Engineering’s Basic Utility Vehicle Team recently won top honors for overall performance in a national design competition, scoring a success despite transmission problems that ultimately stalled the car.

Mizzou’s stripped-down ambulance won the “judge’s drive” portion of the Institute for Affordable Transportation’s BUV Design Competition, which aims to generate low-cost vehicle designs for impoverished areas throughout the world. A subjective test of general drivability and design, the judge’s drive was the most heavily weighted category in the April 29 competition at Indianapolis, Ind., said Will Austin, IAT founder and director.

“There could very well be something on there that we end up borrowing,” Austin said.

The annual contest for university and college teams included obstacle course and mudpit drives along with other performance and team report events. Despite winning the judge’s drive category, the MU team finished eighth out of nine teams in the overall contest because of transmission problems that knocked Mizzou out of several events.

Still, the team’s design victories helped offset the disappointment of not finishing, said Mizzou BUV team President Matthew Miller, a senior in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“Overall, I’d say the competition was a success, even though we didn’t do as well as we might have liked because of the transmission,” Miller said.

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