University’s tractor teams in the winners’ circle | TheFencePost.com

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University’s tractor teams in the winners’ circle

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas State University Helwig Farms Quarter-Scale Tractor Teams, formerly Powercat Tractors, came home with two top-five finishes in the 20th annual American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

The teams competed June 2-4, in Peoria, Ill., against 27 teams from universities in the U.S., Canada and Israel. K-State's A team took fifth place overall and its X team second overall. This is the 19th time in the last 20 years that one of the university's teams has won or placed in the top three at the event.

"Our now 20-year record speaks for itself," said Joe Harner, head of the biological and agricultural engineering department. "To continually rank in the top tier of this international competition reflects well on our program, our students and our advisors." A panel of industry experts judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics. Teams submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and on-site must sell their design in a formal presentation to the panel. Finally, machines are put to the test in three performance events: three tractor pulls, a maneuverability course and a durability course. The A team — juniors and seniors — won both the Safety and First-Time-Through awards, and placed third in written report, first in oral presentation and fifth overall. The X team — freshmen and sophomores — took first in the pulling event and second overall. Team advisors are Pat Murphy and John Kramer, both adjunct professors; Dan Flippo, assistant professor; Edwin Brokesh, instructor; Lou Ann Claassen, administrative specialist; and Jon Zeller, research technician, all from the biological and agricultural engineering department; and Jim Schmidt, Manhattan, biological and agricultural engineering alumnus and department advisory board member. The following students are members of the university's Helwig Farms Quarter-Scale Tractor Teams. Leadership positions are also noted. Braden Mishler, biological systems engineering, A team fundraising co-chair, Arnold; Gabriel Bergmann, agricultural technology management, A team vice president, Concordia; Jesse Meier, biological systems engineering, X team student council representative, Hillsboro; Skyler Burns, agricultural technology management, X team, Jetmore; Megan Workman, biological systems engineering, A team secretary, Lawrence; David Pullen, mechanical engineering, A team, Lenexa; Evan Ridder, biological systems engineering, X team shop foreman, Leoti; Wade Stroda, agricultural technology management, A team shop foreman, Manhattan; Jace Shirley, agricultural technology management, X team secretary/treasurer, Oakley; Garett Schneider, mechanical engineering, X team shop foreman, Olmitz; Jonathan Pasowicz, biological systems engineering, A team, Overland Park; Matthew Loomis, agricultural technology management, A team, Pratt; Nicholas Meyer, biological systems engineering, A team, Tampa; Curtis Doughramaji, biological systems engineering, A team junior shop foreman, Topeka; Conor Hamilton, agricultural technology management, A team fundraising co-chair, Turon; and Brett Schwarz, biological systems engineering, X team vice president, Wamego. From out of state: Alexander Nytko, biological systems engineering, A team treasurer, Roscoe, Ill.; William Friesen, biological systems engineering, X team president, Carthage, Ind.; Lucas Weller, biological systems engineering, A team president, Rayville, Mo.; and William Moreland, agricultural technology management, A team student council representative, Medford, Okla.❖