Each team is supplied one 31-hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard Big Block Engine and a set of Titan tires; they are responsible for acquiring all other components of their machines. All tractors run on a 10 percent ethanol fuel blend.

The ¼-Scale Competition is unique among student engineering design contests in that it provides a realistic "360-degree" workplace experience. A panel of industry experts judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics.

Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition. Onsite, they must "sell" their design in a formal presentation to industry experts playing the role of a corporate management team.

Finally, machines are put to the test in a performance demonstration comprising a series of tractor pulls. The pulls take place Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and spectators are welcome.

Competition co-chair Mike Ciolino is excited about this year’s event. “In 2011 we introduced a new design configuration change with the optional 31-hp engines and front-wheel assist.

"The configuration has not changed much this year, but we plan to see many new and innovative ideas as teams strive for the best overall design.”

Last year, Kansas State University brought home the championship trophy for an unprecedented eighth time. Rounding out the top five spots were, in order: the University of Kentucky, Purdue University, University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Manitoba.

The ¼-Scale Competition is a popular recruiting event. Most of the sponsor companies have hired engineers from among the teams, finding practiced, high-achieving candidates with strong technical, communication and leadership skills honed by competition experience.

These students will soon be designing the equipment that companies will be manufacturing, dealers will be selling, bankers will be financing, and producers will be using in their operations.


The participating universities are:

California Polytechnic State University   
Iowa State University    
Kansas State University
Lamar University           
McGill University          
North Carolina State University  
North Dakota State University   
The Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Penn State University   
Purdue University         
South Dakota State University   
Southern Illinois University        
Texas A & M University
Université Laval
University of Florida     
University of Illinois      
University of Kentucky  
University of Manitoba  
University of Missouri   
University of Nebraska  
University of Saskatchewan      
University of Tennessee – Knoxville       
University of Tennessee – Martin
University of Wisconsin – Madison        
University of Wisconsin – Platteville       
University of Wisconsin – River Falls

The top teams will be honored Sunday, June 3, at an awards banquet. CNH will award scholarships totaling $4,000 to three students, one from each of the top three teams, pursuing an undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering with an emphasis in machinery design.  FG

—From The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers news release