University of Toronto

Human Powered Vehicles Design Team

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 and/or team executives, which provides leadership/management experiences. 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


Cyclone is 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 is to be a consolidation of the knowledge and experience that the team has built up from the past 6 years.

Eta Prime

The current human powered speed record was set in 2015 at an astonishing speed of 139.45 km/h. We intend to challenge this record with our current speedbike, Eta Prime. This bike was has been under construction since May 2015. While the aerodynamic shell was based off of AeroVelo’s design (the current record holder), we have entirely redesigned the interior: including frame shape, rider position, brakes, wheels, and much more. Our team of experienced and highly-qualified students intends to compete at Battle Mountain in 2016 with our most efficient and technologically advanced bike to date.


We're now working on 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 during the summer of 2016.
Dimensions (L×W×H): 250 cm × 60 cm × 60 cm (Estimated)
Top Speed: 15 km/h
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


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


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 (LxWxH): 239 cm x 50 cm x 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


Bluenose is our fastest speedbike 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, and - as of November 2015 - still holds the British human-powered land speed record.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 247 cm x 55 cm x 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


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 (LxWxH): 262 cm x 88 cm x 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


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 (LxWxH): 239 cm x 58 cm x 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


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(LxWxH): 248 cm x 56 cm x 77 cm
Top Speed: 63.7 km/h
Structure: Carbon fibre frame and roll bar
Features: Carbon leaf spring front suspension, stiffness-optimized frame


Calvin Moes

Captain, Axios Project Director

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. Calvin has pursued breadth of education and experience in preference to depth. A strong proponent of U of T's Engineering Science program, he considers engineering to be an attitude and problem-solving approach more than a specific set of skills and technical knowledge. 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 13th 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.

Sherry Shi

Cyclone Project Director, Financial Director, Webmaster

Sherry joined HPVDT after working with partner team AeroVelo on their first speedbike electronics system during the summer of 2013. She was inspired by their motivation and passion for achieving the impossible. She is currently in her fourth year of Engineering Science - Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she developed her technical knowledge and skills in hardware and software design. Since joining the team, she has been the primary electrical and secondary systems engineer. She has also developed skills in numerous other areas such as working with composites and mechanical components. Currently, she is the project lead of our next ASME HPVC entry - Cyclone. Also, as the team's primary female athlete, she is training hard to potentially set the female landspeed record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

During her spare time, Sherry enjoys photography and cooking. She loves to travel so that she can taste the flavours of the world and bring home memorable photographs as souvenirs.

Thomas Ulph

Eta Prime Project Director, Aerodynamic Design Lead

In 2014, Thomas joined the HPVDT at the start of third year of Engineering Science. Over the previous summer, Thomas worked as an intern at AeroVelo where he helped design and fabricate many of the components of the speedbike Eta. He became skilled in a number of areas including: using SolidWorks for component simulations, mechanical design, working with composites, and CNC machining. Thomas has always had a passion for aviation and flight, and combined with the engineering science aerospace option, he is very knowledgeable in aerodynamics and aircraft control. Currently, Thomas is leading the Eta Prime speedbike design and fabrication with hopes of developing project management skills on an engineering level.

In his spare time, while not at class or working on HPVDT projects, Thomas enjoys photography, biking around the City of Toronto, and watching sci-fi movies and TV series’. He is also the holder of a Transport Canada Pilot License, and on occasion, escapes the city for a peaceful flight in rural Ontario.


Calvin Moes, Team Captain

Sherry Shi, Financial Director, Webmaster

Alex Selwa, Sponsorship Director

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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


To Prospective Sponsors: Please take a look at our Sponsorship Package

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Past Sponsors