Mechanical Engineering Students Shine at WEC and CEC

Congratulations to fourth year Mechanical Engineering students Clayton McMunn, Aaron Hufsmith, and Tariq Shobab for their outstanding achievements in engineering design competitions. Their design project “Single Wheel Recreational Hauler for Motorcycles” was supervised by Dr. Cyrus Raoufi and Mr. Kevin Peffers and completed over the span of 19 weeks part of their second year capstone project. Their unique design competed against projects from 14 other universities in western Canada, winning first place for Innovative Design at the 2013 Western Engineering Competition. As a result of this, the project was able to compete at a national level, taking third place at the 2013 Canadian Engineering Competition.

This project finds its roots in the need to transport large recreational items such as surfboards, kayaks and bicycles, with a motorcycle. Many outdoor enthusiasts are using motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation, but are forced to use a full sized vehicle to transport their recreational equipment. The motorcycle trailers which exist on the market today are too short to support the length of these items. Extended trailers are unavailable owing to the difficulty of maneuvering them behind a motorcycle, combined with the nuisance of storing such a trailer that will only be used occasionally.

This new motorcycle trailer is designed with a long frame, combined with a single rear wheel and a steering mechanism to address the problem of maneuverability. A mechanical connection between the hitch and rear wheel allows the trailer to follow the same path as the motorcycle. With a single rear wheel, the width of the trailer remains within the outer profile of the motorbike as well. Now, the operator can fully concentrate on the road, rather than the path of the trailer.

Also, surfboards, kayaks, and bicycles can easily be attached to the long frame with a modular system designed to keep them secure. An optional cargo box may be attached as well, allowing the motorcyclist to haul up to 200 lbs of payload.

Special thanks to IZUNA faculty Darlene Webb for coaching the students’ communication and presentation skills and to Dave Lewis for helping the students manufacture the prototype.