Thinking of joining the team?

To learn more about us, contact us or visit us on the 5th floor of 256 McCaul St. Hope to see you soon!

The Human-Powered Vehicles Design Team (HPVDT) is a student organization at the University of Toronto that is focused on the design and construction of innovative, high-performance, human-powered vehicles. Our goal is to provide students with practical, hands-on experience in engineering design while promoting efficiency, sustainability and the use of human power as a means of reducing society's impact on the environment.

Our current focus is the design of a high-speed aerodynamic bicycle, capable of reaching speeds well in excess of 100 km/hr, while still having the utility necessary for carrying groceries and travelling safely within the city. The bike will compete in the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Human-Powered Vehicle Challenge, a race specifically focused on the utilitarian aspects of the bike. As well, we will compete in the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, where streamlined bicycles head to set speed records on a 5 mile stretch of road near Battle Mountain, Nevada.

As a member of the team, you will learn how to work with composites, such as carbon fibre, and other advanced materials. You will also be a part of the design process of the aerodynamic, mechanical, structural and electrical components of the bicycle. You will gain hands-on experience with building streamlined vehicles, as well as how to disassemble and reassemble bicycle components. Committed members will also have an opportunity to become design leads or team executives, which provides leadershipand management experience. The team is also often invited to attend various events and conferences where team members can showcase their work and network with professionals in related fields.




by University of Toronto Engineering Students

Current Projects

Eta Prime

Designed as an upgraded version of Aerovelo’s Eta speedbike, Eta Prime takes advantage of an extensively optimized frame and shell structure to achieve significant mass savings while improving stiffness. We are continuing to refine this bike, using it as a testbed for new aerodynamic devices, structural concepts, and camera navigation systems. At the same time, our athletes are training hard to be able to push our top speeds higher every year.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 270 cm × 45 cm × 85 cm
Mass: 22 kg (empty)
Top Speed: 124 km/h in 2016
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel shell, hollow carbon internal frame, carbon disc wheels, largely custom drivetrain
Features: Fully-redundant high-definition camera vision system, two-stage transmission (1×6 and single speed), 650c wheels, ±3.5 degrees steering range


We've nearly finished our first human-powered submarine. Designed to be fast, maneuverable, and generally awesome, Axios will be a completely new take on human-powered watercraft. We expect to begin testing the vehicle later this summer, but we aren’t taking any shortcuts on a project like this.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 275 cm × 52 cm × 65 cm
Mass: 460 kg (ready to dive)
Top Speed: 4.4 m/s (estimated)
Designed Depth: 30 m
Structure: Fiberglass pressure hull, polyurethane viewport, steel drivetrain
Features: Closed-circuit rebreather system, advanced safety systems, optimized propeller geometry

Past Projects


Inspired by Celero, Arbiter was developed with the practical high-speed commuter in mind. Its 3 wheeled configuration was stable at low speeds and highly maneuverable when slaloming down obstacle courses at high speed. Arbiter was the first vehicle we’ve completed on time before driving out to compete at the annual ASME HPVC competitions. Arbiter finished with 2nd in Design and Innovation categories at ASME HPVC East 2018 and was also featured on Daily Planet after the race!
Dimensions (L×W×H): 284 cm × 114 cm × 102 cm
Mass: ~25 kg (empty)
Structure: Carbon-Kevlar monocoque shell, Detachable front axle
Features: Fully Suspended System, Adjustable rider position, Rollover Detection system, Android App integration


Similar to Cyclone, Tempest is based on the Vortex design. With a revised landing gear system and low-drag tires, Tempest was meant to sustain high speeds for a long commute. Tempest placed 5th in the 2017 HPVC Innovation category, but was hampered by mechanical problems in other events.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 242 cm × 55 cm × 107 cm
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based landing gear, high-efficiency tires, lightweight durable shell


Cyclone was our entry for the 2016 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. It has the same aerodynamic shape as Vortex, but its interiors are drastically different. The intent of this vehicle was to be a consolidation of the knowledge and experience that the team has built up from the past 6 years. Cyclone scored second place in the ASME event’s Design category.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 238 cm × 58 cm × 106 cm
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based landing gear, high-efficiency tires, lightweight durable shell


Simplicity was the objective with Viteza. Using a minimalist lowracer recumbent configuration, HPVDT created an extremely light yet fully-functional two-wheeled racing bike. With an optional rear fairing, Viteza was our first bike not to have at least a partial monocoque shell. Viteza placed fifth overall at the 2015 ASME HPVC.
Dimensions(L×W×H): 248 cm × 56 cm × 77 cm
Top Speed: 63.7 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre frame and roll bar
Features: Carbon leaf spring front suspension, stiffness-optimized frame


Based on the aerodynamic design of Vortex, Valkyrie was an attempt at a fast but versatile streamlined vehicle. Using a leaning-tricycle configuration, the intent was to maintain stability at low speeds while having bicycle-like high-speed handling. Valkyrie placed seventh overall at the 2014 ASME HPVC.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 239 cm × 58 cm × 106 cm
Top Speed: 72.5 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based leaning system, ultra-light composite disc wheels, expanded storage capacity


As the first ASME HPVC-specific vehicle we've built, Celero was designed from the start for ease of use and versatility. With three wheels, it's stable at all speeds; only one rider has managed to crash Celero, and only under very adverse conditions. Celero also holds the distinction of being the only HPVDT vehicle to have been operated extensively on open roads.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 262 cm × 88 cm × 85 cm
Top Speed: 68.4 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Intuitive linkage-based steering, integrated running and signal lights, differential braking


Bluenose is one of our fastest speedbikes yet. Since placing fourth overall at ASME HPVC 2012, Bluenose has been entered in WHPSC during 2012, 2013, and 2015. Bluenose has set the collegiate speed record several times.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 247 cm × 55 cm × 88 cm (excluding fin)
Top Speed: 123.8 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Fault-tolerant camera vision system, high-efficiency tires, damage-resistant outer shell


Our second vehicle achieved an excellent balance of speed and stability. Vortex won first place overall at the 2011 ASME competition, and broke Ace's collegiate land speed record at WHPSC 2012. Vortex remains a team favorite, and has been raced in multiple amateur events since 2011.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 239 cm ×50 cm × 105 cm
Top Speed: 116.9 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Streamlined wheel openings, dual-stage front wheel drive, retractable landing gear


Our first-ever speedbike, Ace was built for the 2010 ASME Human-Powered Vehicle Challenge and the 2010 World Human-Powered Speed Challenge. It performed well in both, and set a new collegiate-level land speed record.

Dimensions (L×W×H): 281 cm × 55 cm × 107 cm
Top Speed: 108 km/h
Structure: Carbon/Kevlar shell, internal aluminum frame
Features: NACA duct ventilation, single-stage front wheel drive


Bill Kong

Captain, Zephyr Project Director

1T9 Math and Physics Specialist

Bill joined HPVDT in his first year of university because it brought together two of his favourite things: riding bikes and making things. He has designed and built parts for Cyclone, Tempest, Arbiter, Eta Prime, and Bluenose, and is currently leading design on Zephyr. Bill’s current role on the team focuses on planning, conceptual design, and management. He enjoys racing the vehicles as well, and is currently the team’s second fastest rider. Outside HPVDT, he also loves fiddling with expensive scientific equipment, singing, and exploring the outside world. Bill is in his fourth year of study in Physics and Mathematics.

Calvin Moes

Axios Project Director

PhD Candidate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Calvin joined HPVDT in 2011 while working on his undergraduate degree in nanoengineering. He's since progressed to graduate studies in the University's department of Materials Science and Engineering. While skilled in multiple disciplines—including mechanical engineering, structural design, electronics, and aerodynamics—Calvin's role on the team is mostly about strategy, management, and top-level design. At present, he's also HPVDT's leading male rider, and is currently ranked as 9th fastest cyclist in history.

When not designing record-breaking vehicles, teaching new team members, researching for his thesis, or training physically, Calvin pursues a variety of hobbies. He's long been the Engineering Faculty's only tuba player, and performs with several student ensembles. He also enjoys action movies, sci-fi novels, hiking, and good food.

Josh Madero

Financial Director

2T0 Mechanical Engineering

Josh decided to study mechanical engineering because he loves engineering design and Solidworks. He joined the team because of the great opportunity it provides to design and build in a creative environment with many capable engineers willing to help each other. Among other things, Josh is interested in powerlifting and entrepreneurship. He is also pursuing minors in business and biomedical engineering.

Luke Patterson

Drivetrain Subsystem Lead, Team Videographer

Mechanical Engineering 1T9+PEY

Luke joined the team in 2016 as a way to learn and practice skills that are not taught in the classroom, such as manufacturing and advanced design. He has participated in various aspects of the design and manufacturing of Tempest, Arbiter and Zephyr. Some of his personal goals within the team are to become comfortable with all the areas of the full design and manufacturing process, and to pass on what he knows to the newer members of the teams. When he's not building or designing he's probably filming something to put on the team's Youtube channel. Outside of the team Luke is currently completing his PEY at an engineering consulting firm in Mississauga. In his free time he lives and breathes all forms of hockey and baseball, both as a player and a coach.

Susanna Rumsey


PhD student, Electrical Engineering

A graduate of the Engineering Science Physics option, Susanna has a great love for both the theoretical and practical sides of engineering, and finds working with this team the perfect balance to her research work in information theory. On the team, she has contributed to electrical systems including the Tempest lights and the Eta Prime communications system, and has hopes of contributing to a system that is actually human-powered. As webmaster, she is also responsible for this page. In her spare time, Susanna plays the trombone, sings, knits impractical scarves, listens to economics podcasts, and has recently taken up kung fu.


Calvin Moes, Team Captain

Bill Kong, Financial Director

Susanna Rumsey, Webmaster

Evan Bennewies, Sponsorship Director

Jun Nogami, Professor and Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty Advisor

Check out our Facebook page and our Youtube channel.

256 McCaul St. 5th Floor
Toronto, ON

Mailing Address:
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto
Wallberg Building, 184 College Street, Suite 140
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E4 Canada


Prospective sponsors: please take a look at our Sponsorship Package

Gold Sponsors

Aerovelo, a company founded by and largely composed of HPVDT alumni, has been our partner team through the development of the Eta Prime speedbike. This project was only possible using Aerovelo’s Eta speedbike design as a starting point. Aerovelo further enabled the success of our team by generously assisting HPVDT with the purchase of a CNC carving machine in 2014. This advanced tool forms the core of our mold-making workflow, and we could never have purchased it without Aerovelo. Beyond their extensive tangible contributions, Aerovelo has inspired every member of our team with their top-notch engineering and spectacular human-powered accomplishments.

Advanced engineering projects require accurate simulation to evaluate design choices before manufacturing. Since 2016, Altair has provided our team with top-of-the line simulation and optimization software that we’ve used to improve our aerodynamic designs and composite structures. Their support has allowed us to perform faster and more detailed simulations than ever before, as well as to optimize our designs in ways that would be impractical to attempt manually.

Pratt & Whitney Canada, one of the world’s leading aerospace companies, has generously helped to fund the team’s operations since our very first project. Their support has improved the education of many engineers and researchers in aerospace applications. The contributions of P&WC are primarily used to purchase materials and components.

Silver Sponsors

Barrday has donated carbon fiber and Kevlar that we use in the construction of our vehicles.

Composites Canada assists our team with discounted supplies and materials, while also providing invaluable advice on the manufacturing techniques we use.

EMWorks provided electromagnetic simulation software used in the design of the Axios submarine.

We receive funding on an annual basis from the university’s Engineering Alumni Association.

The Division of Engineering Science has generously funded our team every year since 2010.

KHK provided high-quality gears for two of our current projects.

MSE is our host department, providing funding, testing facility access, and other assistance since the team’s inception.

Plasterform has donated large-format CNC machining services for several of our projects, including Bluenose, Valkyrie, and Eta Prime.

PMG Technologies allowed HPVDT to use their largest test track for the initial roadworthiness tests of our Eta Prime speedbike.

Siemens provides us with fiberglass off-cuts from their wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ontario, which is used for manufacturing our molds and heavier components.

Solidworks annually provides our team with design software licenses; we use SolidWorks for the majority of our CAD models.

TeXtreme fabric has been generously provided by Oxeon AB for our Viteza, Cyclone, and Eta Prime vehicle projects.

Bronze Sponsors

Past Sponsors