July 17, 2002 | By: Haven Miller

A student design team from the University of Kentucky Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department has earned a third place tie award in national competition.

The award came during the Quarter Scale Tractor Design competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers held recently in East Moline, Illinois.  Student teams from more than 30 universities participated.

The small but powerful tractors entered by each team are completely designed and built by students.  Teams are judged in several categories: an oral presentation, a written report, tractor maneuverability, design judging, and a pulling performance event. 

The UK team’s total combined points earned it a third place tie with Ohio State University.  This compares to a sixth place finish the previous two years.  The team also received the Sportsmanship award for the third year in a row.  First place in the competition was awarded to Universit’e de Laval from Canada with second place going to Kansas State University.

“This is quite an achievement when you consider all the great universities represented,” said Scott Shearer, faculty adviser in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.  “And this project represents more than just an award.  It’s an opportunity for students to take a product through from conception, the design and development phase, almost to market.  There are very few experiences they’ll have like that in the university setting.”

Team members ranged from freshman to graduate students.  For them, the project was a way of getting real-world experience.

“When we get to industry we’re going to have to come up with ideas and show our bosses, the execs, that it’s going to work and it’s going to make the company money,” said Tim Greis, a senior in BAE.  “That’s what we’re learning through this process.”

This year’s model, which cost between $5,000 and $6,000 to build, can pull over 2000 lbs.  It features four-wheel drive, a continuously variable transmission, hydraulic assisted steering, and an on-board computer that provides the driver with vital information such as engine speed, oil pressure and engine temperature.

The project was supported by local businesses who sponsored the team with parts as well as financially.  Support was also provided by the College of Agriculture, the College of Engineering, and the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

Team members include Tim Greis, Ryan Figgins, William Sympson, Adam Garrison, Jeremy Hudson, Evan Conrad, Wanda Jones, Jason Ward, Brandon McDonald, Matt Peake and John Cole.  Faculty advisers include Scott Shearer, Tim Smith, Tim Stombaugh and Larry Wells.


Scott Shearer; Tim Smith, 859-257-3000