Automakers around the world are racing to design and produce more efficient, cost-effective
A group of Trine University students recently took part in a similar competition,
designing an electric-powered go kart that went up against others from universities
Held at Purdue University’s race track Sept. 16-17, the annual evGrand Prix judged
vehicles on placement, design, community outreach and energy efficiency. The Trine
team placed fifth.
“We were able to complete the entire race while using the least amount of voltage
in our system,” said team member Brian Morris, a mechanical engineering major from
Metamora, Michigan. “We were even congratulated by the members of the evGrand Prix
committee. They said most first-year teams don’t complete the entire race.”
The annual event was originally supposed to be held over Memorial Day weekend as part
of Indianapolis 500 festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, due to
COVID-19 concerns, the date and location were moved.
The schedule change meant that most of the original senior design team that had worked
on the project was unable to be part of the competition. Team members Jacob Caldwell
of Conover, Ohio, Lee Dougherty of Nappanee, Indiana, Matthew Poublon of Reading,
Michigan, and Aaron Smith of Deshler Ohio, all mechanical engineering majors, graduated
and were unable to participate.
Mechanical engineering majors Bethany Blumer, from Kendallville, Indiana, and Daria
Frame, from Brownsburg, Indiana, were able to return and be part of the team this
fall. They joined Trine mechanical engineering majors Josh McCallum and Morris, who
are part of this year’s team, and Alex Walters to compete at Purdue.
John Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Wade Department of Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering, and Joe Thompson II, laboratory manager and instruction, are advisors
for the team.
Last year’s team worked on Trine’s kart throughout the 2020-21 school year. They began
by creating matrices for concepts and designs to determine the best options for the
Trine kart. The team then tested the kart to make sure it met all the evGrand Prix
“They created their own racetrack on multiple occasions in the parking lot in front
of Best Hall to see how the kart would handle an actual track,” said Morris.
Morris said that besides providing a more accurate test for the kart design, the competition
allowed the Trine team to look at other designs and talk with other teams to develop
“Next year we are looking to make it into the top three,” he said. “We are looking
forward to getting our hands on the kart and trying to update it for this year's competition.”
The evGrand Prix began in 2009 at Purdue, with the inaugural race taking place in
Photo: The Trine University evGrand Prix team competed at Purdue University in mid-September.
Standing, from left, are Daria Frame, Alex Walters, advisor Joe Thompson II, Brian
Morris, Josh McCallum, and advisor John Liu, Ph.D. Bethany Blumer is seated in the
Video: Electric go karts cross the finish line at the evGrand Prix. The white kart is Trine
A longtime area high school baseball coach and educator discusses the coaching profession and strategies for effectively leading youth in the newest episode of Trine University’s Center for Sports Studies podcast.
INDIANAPOLIS — Bethany Morgan Schmitt, a Trine University sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana, majoring in exercise science/pre-physical therapy, was one of 29 first-generation Indiana college students named as a “Realizing the Dream” recipient by the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).