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Source: Lou Ann Claassen, 785-532-2901, lkc@k-state.edu
Photo available. Download at http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jun11/614tractorchamps.jpg. Cutline: K-State senior Doug Grollmes, left, and sophomore Justin Sales look over a quarter-scale scale tractor built by students in the agricultural technology management program. Standing are advisers Pat Murphy, left, and Ed Brokesh.
Audio slide show: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/News/p.aspx?tabid=171
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DESIGNED FOR SUCCESS: QUARTER-SCALE TRACTOR TEAM WINS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- When it comes to scaling the heights of success, it's hard to beat Kansas State University's Quarter-Scale Tractor Team.

K-State's A team took first place in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' 14th annual International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, June 2-5, in Peoria, Ill. It's the eighth time the team has won the international championship, and the 12th time in the last 13 years that the team has finished first or in the top three of the competition.

K-State also took second place in the X-Team competition, which is for students new to the contest.

"Team experiences such as the International Quarter-Scale Tractor team are a reflection of the quality of education young people receive at K-State," said Joe Harner, head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering. "Faculty willingly transfer their knowledge to team members through quality instruction, advising and research. This solid foundation is critical for teams to succeed and speaks well of Kansas State University."

This year's main competition featured teams from 27 universities, including four from Canada. For the event, student teams build their own tractor and document their market research, testing and development. They also present their design to a mock corporate management team and demonstrate its performance capabilities in a live tractor pull.

Along with being the top team overall, the K-State A Team earned firsts in written report and design performance. The team's tractor also competed in four pull events, placing first in two of the pulls, and placing second and third in the other two pulls.

Team advisers are Jim Schmidt, a K-State biological and agricultural engineering alumnus; Lou Ann Claassen, senior administrative assistant for the department of biological and agricultural engineering; Ed Brokesh, instructor of biological and agricultural engineering; J. Pat Murphy, professor of agriculture and natural resources; and Darrell Oard, research assistant in biological and agricultural engineering.

The advisers said the student team members won the competition because of the time and effort they put into the event.

"Students volunteer many hours of their time to secure funding and to design, build and test their final tractor design," Murphy said. "Only a few points separate the top four teams in this competition."

Members of K-State's Quarter-Scale Tractor Team and their competition team, if applies, include:

Andrew Koch, sophomore in biological systems engineering, Auburn, X Team member; Dillon Thompson, junior in biological systems engineering, Burdett; Clay Reinecke, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, Centralia, A Team vice president; Doug Grollmes, junior in biological and agricultural engineering, Circleville, A Team president; Brad Ellenz, sophomore in agricultural technology management, Beloit, X Team member; Bradley McVey, junior in biological systems engineering, Fredonia, A Team member; Doug Niehues, junior in biological systems engineering, Goff, A Team member; Ben Bellar, sophomore in agricultural technology management, Howard, X Team member; Devin Mangus, junior in biological systems engineering, Kanorado; Joshua Ogle, senior in biological systems engineering, Manhattan,; David Becker, senior in biological systems engineering, Melvern, A Team member; Nicholas Depenbusch, senior in biological systems engineering, Nashville, A Team secretary; Jonathan Zeller, senior in biological systems engineering, Overbrook, A Team shop foreman; Brett McClain, senior in biological systems engineering, Phillipsburg, A Team secretary; Cody Hommertzheim, freshman in agricultural technology management, Pratt, X Team member; Andrew Broeckelman, senior in biological systems engineering, Selden; Justin Sales, sophomore in agricultural technology management, Valley Falls, X Team president; and Austin Smith, senior in biological systems engineering, Wichita.

From out of state: Isaac Spear, freshman in biological systems engineering, Littleton, Colo., X Team member; and Denton Haag, senior in agricultural technology management, Bartley, Neb.