Kennesaw State University engineering team places second in national competition

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 27, 2021

A Kennesaw State University mechanical engineering team placed second overall in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge, a nationwide competition hosted virtually by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and Danfoss Power Solutions earlier this month.

Fluid Power Vehicle
Kennesaw State was represented by students Romeo Locke, Sahil Pitre, Will Sanders and Kevin Wandene, who were tasked with modifying a traditional pedal-powered vehicle with a hydraulic system that stored and released power to the wheels. They also had to design and implement a pneumatic system for an additional application. This project deepened the team’s fluid power knowledge, as well as their interest in the fluid power industry. Students completed the challenge to coincide with their two-semester senior design capstone courses, and industry professionals served as mentors and judges.

“We are so proud of our students for showcasing their engineering prowess against a highly competitive field of students,” said mechanical engineering professor Richard Ruhala, who co-advised the students along with mechanical engineering associate professor and co-advisor, Laura Ruhala. “Though presenting virtually added another layer to the competition, our students adapted and rose to the challenge.  The funding from the NFPA allowed their capstone course to be taken to the next level of design, build, test, redesign, and compete.”

Fluid Power Vehicle
Teams competed for cash prizes in three separate races, including sprint, efficiency and endurance. Aside from their second place ranking overall, KSU also won first place in the endurance challenge of the competition. The team’s success earned it a cumulative $3,000 prize from the NFPA that will be distributed equally among the student members.

This year marks only the second time that Kennesaw State had participated in the event, where it outperformed other universities in the challenge hosted by Danfoss Power Solutions, including Iowa State University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, among others.

– Josh Milton

Submitted photos

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit