Engineering Club to compete after 30 years


Jesbaam Sanchez, a mechanical engineering major and secretary of the engineering club, test drives one of the vehicles they will be entering in the contest, on March 1 at American River College. (Photo by Hameed Zargry)

Hameed Zargry

On Fridays the Engineering Club members come together to work on one of their most important projects. The members circle the three-wheeled human-powered vehicle, while one member gets ready to test drive and another member helps him fasten his seat belt.

The American River College Engineering Club’s project to build one of the fastest human-powered vehicles is in its final stage and ready to enter a competition against other colleges in Pomona on March 15.

The human-powered vehicle has three tires, like a tricycle, is relatively safe and made for people living in remote areas to use as a transport vehicle with a high speed of 45 mph.

Jacob Ivan Hendry, a mechanical engineering major and current president of the Engineering Club, has led the project of building the vehicle.

“We are all set to compete,” Hendry said. “We have to make a safety video this weekend and to submit to the judges so that’s the highest priority right now.”

The members have worked on the vehicle since last September, according to Hendry. The members met up to work every Friday, but this time they gathered for test drives, to discuss safety and finish anything left for the vehicle.

Jesbaam Sanchez, a mechanical engineering major and secretary of the Engineering Club, said he is excited about the competition.

“I am really proud and excited,” Sanchez said. “It’s not only because we establish(ed) a human-powered vehicle, [we] will bring back … ARC to compete after 30 years.”

Leia Auyeung is also a mechanical engineering major and a new club member who is helping the team as a designer.  

“I am fairly new member, this has been a great experience working with [club members],” Auyeung said.

Auyeung said she learned a lot from the project. The cooperation of the senior members and teamwork was another thing she liked during the project.

“Senior members were very kind teaching me in this project,” Auyeung said. “We built this entire thing from scratch and it has been a great journey.”

The vehicle is designed to be built with the lowest cost possible by recycling old bicycles.

Hendry’s goal is not only for ARC to compete this year, but to make a way for future students to continue to participate in the competition by upgrading the vehicle.

“It’s much easier to take an existing vehicle and modify and improve its performance, and find out what work(ed) (and) what did not,” Hendy said.

According to Sanchez, this type of project helps students to improve and students’ ability.

“We do not hope to compete for this year only,” Sanchez said. “Student should have the ability to do a project apart from academics (in future competitions).”