Synthesis of human power and machine to achieve the fastest, most efficient vehicle on earth

Our Vision

Aim93: Synthesis of design, engineering, and human endurance to achieve the fastest, most efficient vehicle on earth

 
 

The current World Human Powered Speed record record stands at 89.59mph, set by Todd Reichert and team Aerovelo of Canada in 2016. Their incredible achievement is our inspiration to push the limits of human endurance and ingenuity even further; we believe that with the right combination of engineering and athleticism, a speed of 93mph under human power is theoretically achievable in a Human Powered Vehicle, or HPV.

Creating such a super-bike presents unique engineering and physiological challenges. The frame must be optimised for weight and stiffness, and tailored precisely to the individual rIder’s body and power delivery capability. The drive chain and components must operate with minimal friction and rolling resistance. The external shell of the vehicle must not only contain and protect the rider and mechanical systems, but must also be able slip through the glutinous soup formed by the air we breath with a minimum of aerodynamic drag. The rider must deliver their power with precision to the second over a five mile course, whilst piloting this incredible machine from within a severely confined space, with limited vision, and limited oxygen, at a high altitude race venue.

All of these characteristics are put to the ultimate test each year in September at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC), which takes place on the world’s longest, flattest, straightest, high-altitude stretch of road at Battle Mountain, Nevada. Teams from around the world convene there each year, not only to attempting to break records, but also to share knowledge, experience, and fellowship in pursuit of a common goal.

The Aim93 project originated from a collaboration between long-time HPV race rivals and cycle designers Glen Thompson and Mike Burrows. Glen, an academic at London South Bank University, was exploring new concepts and CFD simulation techniques for low drag HPVs. Mike was bringing a lifetime of cycle design experience to bear on ideas for optimising a chassis for just such a vehicle. When they met again at the funeral of cycle journalism legend Richard Ballantyne in 2014, they decided to put their heads together and go for gold. The result was the ‘Soup Dragon’ - the HPV that entered the WHPSC2018 event.

We were proud to achieve a top recorded speed of 53mph at WHPSC2018 in the Soup Dragon, piloted by British Human Power Club (BHPC) rider Russell Bridge. Despite falling short of our ultimate objective, the event proved the potential of Glen and Mike’s design innovations, and generated significant insights on where and how to improve for 2019. Central to the team’s philosophy is that good design is a process, a story, an evolution; what doesn’t succeed the first time is nothing more than a successful prototype from which we can learn and build.

For 2019, Aim93 has transitioned from an academic-led research to student-led extra-curricular project. A volunteer team of undergraduates and postgraduates from the School of Engineering at London South Bank University have taken up the mantle and are working throughout the academic year to bring their own ideas and passion to this project, using intelligent design tools from Autodesk, combined with an intensive process of prototyping and testing to simulate, model, and explore all aspects of the vehicle, always with the ultimate goal of new human speed records in mind.

 

Dedicated experts with a passion for engineering.

 
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The design team

The Aim93 project home is the School of Engineering at London South Bank University. LSBU are passionate about providing opportunities for students to develop their skills and CVs through extra-curricular projects such as this, under guidance from experienced academics in the field.

For 2019, the backbone of the Aim93 project is a team of undergraduate and postgraduate students of London South Bank University. They have brought fresh ideas, passion, and a strong determination to see their ingenuity bear fruit in breaking records at the pinnacle of applied engineering and design.

 
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Glen Thompson
Senior Lecturer (retired)

HPV design and racing has been Glen’s lifelong passion, which he turned professional following his Master degree in Vehicle Design from the RCA. The Aim93 project was borne of his fascination with the aerodynamics of low drag vehicles and his research into CFD techniques.

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Barney Townsend
Senior Lecturer

Barney has extensive experience in digital simulation and manufacturing techniques. His inspiration to break records comes from his grandfather, Sir Roger Bannister, who in 1954 became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.

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Dr. Ben Lishman
Lecturer

Ben specialises in arctic engineering and design, including ice sports. He has previously worked with the UK Skeleton team on runner design.
 

 
 
Aim93 Team 2019

Allyna Ullah
BSc Chemical and Process Engineering - Chassis, Stabiliser, Rider Experience

Gonzalo Rumeu Claret

BSc Engineering Product Design - Stabiliser, Chassis, Steering

Esa Tammisto

BSc Engineering Product Design - Steering, Wheels, Rider Experience

Marc Abalos

BSc Engineering Product Design - Steering, Chassis, Rider Experience

Luke Arnold

BSc Engineering Product Design - Chassis, Stabiliser, Steering

Mac Geoffrey

BSc Mechanical Engineering

Chasis, Stabiliser

Freya Yang

BSc Engineering Product Design - Publicity, Steering, Chassis

Jonathan Davis

BSc Engineering Product Design - Rider Experience, Steering, Stabiliser

Danish Javed

BSc Engineering Product Design - Chassis, Wheels, Steering

Dan Wrigley

BSc Engineering Product Design - Steering, Composite, Wheels

Jemma Clarke

BSc Product Design - Chassis, Publicity, Rider Experience

Jack Williams

BSc Engineering Product Design - Rider Experience, Chassis, Wheels

 

Dedicated athletes with a goal to become the fastest human beings on earth.

 

The riders

In 2019, we will enter two riders at the WHPSC event. Russel Bridge rode our HPV in 2018, achieving the impressive speed of 53mph; he will bring that wealth of experience to the team in 2019. We also welcome Noah Phillips from our home team at LSBU, who is adding a new string to his already impressive competitive cycling record. Both riders will be working with the Sport and Exercise Science team at LSBU to develop a bespoke hypoxia training programme, conditioning their blood and muscles to operate at maximum efficiency in the high altitude conditions of the event.

 
 
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Noah Phillips

Noah is a student on BSc Engineering Product Design at LSBU, an active member of the design team for the 2019 vehicle, and also a serious competitive cyclist in Road, Track, and Cyclo-cross in the London and South-East region. He currently races for Velo Club Londres, based around Herne Hill Velodrome, where he also works part-time as a cycle development coach.

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Russell Bridge

Russell is an experienced competitor in the British Human Power Club competition circuit, and an architect by profession. He rode the Aim93 vehicle at WHPSC2018, achieving 53mph. His experience of this, coupled with his expertise as a designer, have significantly influenced the design of our 2019 vehicle and are enabling him to focus his training programme this year to reach new records.

Dedicated technical support that enables engineering vision to become reality.

 

The technicians

The Aim93 team are are dependent upon the extensive support of the Technical Support Services department of London South Bank University. This group of experts are tireless in bringing their wide range of experience in all things technical to assist, advise, and enable the prototyping, manufacturing, and testing of our designs. We simply cannot thank them enough for their contributions to the project.

 
 
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Tony Roberts
Deputy Director of Technician Services

Nick Duggan
CNC Machining

JackTheobald
Assembly and fabrication

Colin Edwards
Metal fabrication and welding

 

Joe Cheney

Trained as a time served precision engineer, Joe has worked closely with project originator Glen Thompson since the earliest concept development. He joined the team at our first visit to WHPSC in 2018, and is invaluable as our primary liaison with Technical Support Services

 

Terry Bonner
Technical Support Supervisor

Tony Hope
Composites, 3D Printing

Andrew Ashcroft
Engineering, tooling


 
 

John Challis
Workshop Coordinator


Kevin Bellingham
Precision machining

Silvio Lavandeira
3D Printing, VR/AR simulations