Design and Build
Human Powered Vehicles

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About Us

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: Designing high-speed aerodynamic vehicles, capable of reaching speeds well in excess of 100 km/hr on pure human power. We compete annually in the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, where streamlined bicycles race and set land speed records on a 5 mile stretch of road near Battle Mountain, Nevada. We have also previously competed in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, where the utilitarian and practical aspects of our vehicles are tested in a series of design and race events.

Experience: 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 leadership and 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.

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

  • Design

  • Build

  • Race

Current Projects

Human powered aircraft

Human Powered Aircraft

We are building a tandem human powered aircraft to compete for the long standing Kremer International Marathon Prize. Our aircraft is being built to fly a distance of 42 km (a marathon) in one hour or less. In addition to the speed and distance conditions, the aircraft must also be able to turn repeatedly to navigate the specified figure eight course. When completed, we expect it to be the most advanced human powered aircraft ever constructed.

Project Designers: Calvin Moes, Bill Kong, Trefor Evans, Thomas Ulph
Competitions: Kremer International Marathon Prize
Start: March 2020
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel fuselage, carbon and balsa wood spar, high density foam wing with mylar wrapping
Features: Fly-by-wire control system, remote control capability, lightweight suspension and landing gear



Our most advanced speedbike, TITAN employs all of the lessons our Team has learned in our previous projects. This design pushes the bounds of speedbike engineering, and is driving the sport as a whole in an exciting new direction. At the 2019 WHPSC, HPVDT members piloted an unfaired TITAN to a new world tandem speed record of 120.20 kph (74.69 mph). We have been working on finishing and improving TITAN for future WHPSC events.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Competitions: WHPSC 2019, 2022 WHPSC, 2023 WHPSC
Start: Fall 2018
Completion: Main build completed Fall 2019, ongoing updates
Top Speed: 120.20 km/h at WHPSC 2019 (New Multi-Rider World Record)
Structure: Carbon sandwich panel shell, hollow carbon internal frame, carbon disc wheels, largely customized drivetrain, bespoke electronics, sensor and vision system

Past Projects


LowRacer Project

We designed a lowracer that used the production Morciglio M1 as design inspiration. This introductory-level project was used as a oppurtunity for our newer members to get design, building and lowracer racing experience.

Project Director: Calvin Rieder, Rishabh Garikiparihi, Joshua Madero (2020-21)



Axios was HPVDT's first human-powered submarine design. Designed to be fast, maneuverable, and generally awesome, Axios was a completely new take on human-powered watercraft.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Duration: Summer 2014 to Summer 2022
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

Coming soon


Blueshift was a fully faired super-recumbent delta camera tricycle with three wheels on a short wheel base. This design has ideal characteristics for its project goals. The delta wheel placement and short wheelbase allowed us to accommodate a tight turning radius without increasing the frontal area of the fairing. The flat rider position produceed a low center of mass which provided good lateral stability under both cornering accelerations and high speed crosswinds. The drivetrain and shifting range provided us with a wide range of speeds, from as low as 26 km/h to as high as 118 km/h.

Project Director: Bill Kong



A new take on the most common human powered vehicle in the world: the upright bicycle. Zephyr uses partial aerodynamic fairings fore and aft of the rider's body to provide a 22% drag reduction relative to a standard aerobar position. This vehicle dominated all the races at ASME HPVC North 2019, lapping the second place vehicle seven times during the endurance race. To demonstrate real world usability, the vehicle completed a 350 km 3 day tour from Toronto to Kingston during summer 2019.

Project Director: Bill Kong
Competitions: ASME North 2019 (1st Endurance, 1st Men's Speed, 1st Women's Speed, 4th Design, 2nd Overall)
Start: Fall 2018
Completion: Spring 2019
Dimensions (L×W×H): 217 cm × 48 cm × 133 cm
Mass: 11.5 kg (with fairings), 9.5 kg (bike only)
Top Speed: ~60 km/h at ASME 2019
Structure: Prepreg carbon monocoque main frame with carbon wrapped foam core stays, and aluminum dropouts and head tube
Features: Partial front and rear aerodynamic fairings, wide range of ergonomic adjustability, deep section front wheel, integrated power meter, standard component compatibility


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. This vehicle piloted by Calvin Moes won the 2017 World Human Powered Speed Challenge men's and collegiate men's competitions with a speed of 127.60 kph (79.30 mph). The same vehicle and rider competed again the following year and improved their top speed to 130.08 kph (80.83 mph), becoming the team's first vehicle to exceed the 80 mph mark.

Project Director: Calvin Moes
Competitions: 1st WHPSC 2017, 2nd WHPSC 2018
Start: Summer 2015
Completion: Summer 2017
Dimensions (L×W×H): 270 cm × 45 cm × 85 cm
Mass: 22 kg (empty)
Top Speed: 130.08 km/h at WHPSC 2018
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 (6 speed), 650c wheels, ±3.5 degrees steering range



Inspired by Celero, Arbiter was developed with the practical high-speed commuter in mind. Its three-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!

Project Director: Bruce Hu
Competitions: ASME East 2018 (2nd Design, 2nd Innovation, 4th Endurance, 8th Overall)
Start: Fall 2017
Completion: Spring 2018
Dimensions (L×W×H): 284 cm × 114 cm × 102 cm
Mass: ~25 kg (empty)
Top Speed: ~50 km/h at Northbrook 2018
Structure: Carbon-Kevlar monocoque shell, Detachable front steering assembly
Features: Fully Suspended System, Adjustable seat and BB position, Rollover Detection system, Android App integration



Similar to Cyclone, Tempest is based on the Vortex design. With a refined landing gear system, transmission structure, and ultra 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.

Project Director: Evan Bennewies, Alan Petit
Competitions: ASME East 2017 (5th Innovation)
Start: Fall 2016
Completion: Summer 2017
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, quick-release transmission structure, lightweight durable shell



Cyclone was our entry for the 2016 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. It has the same aerodynamic shape as Vortex, but with a different interior. 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 placed third in design at ASME but faced mechanical issues preventing participation in races.

Cyclone was also brought to the 2022 WHPSC with re-designed internals, new aerodynamic pieces and safety features, and reached a top speed of just over 60 mph.

Project Director: Calvin Moes, Sherry Shi, Lincoln Macdonald (2021-2022)
Competitions: ASME East 2018 (3rd Design, 6th Innovation), WHPSC 2022
Start: Fall 2015
Completion: Summer 2017, re-engineered in 2021-2022 for WHPSC
Dimensions (L×W×H): 238 cm × 58 cm × 106 cm
Structure: Carbon fibre monocoque shell, carbon transmission frame
Features: Linkage-based landing gear, 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.

Viteza was subsequently re-engineering into an unfaired lowracer for use at HPRA events in 2022.

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.

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 the WHPSC in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018. 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



The Human Powered Ornithopter Project derived from the work of the UTIAS flapping wing research program. Snowbird was designed and built by the Human Powered Ornithopter (HPO) team to realize the timeless dream of allowing a man to fly like a bird. In summer 2010, Todd Reichert piloted it to became the first human powered ornithopter in the world to achieve sustained and controlled flight. After the project the HPO team was restructured as HPVDT to pursue other forms of human powered transport.

Wingspan : 32 m
Mass (empty) : 43 kg
Flight Distance: 145 m
Average Speed : 25.6 km/h
Structure: Carbon fiber, Balsa, Basswood, Styrofoam, Mylar Skin, Vectran
Features: Rowing Drive

2022-23 Team Leadership

Calvin Rieder

M. A. Sc. Candidate, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Calvin joined HPVDT in 2015 when he started his mechanical engineering undergraduate degree. Since then, he has been an active member of the Team and has partiticpated in several ASME HPVC and summer race events representing the Team. Calvin has also represented the Team at outreach events and at Frosh Week. Prior to becoming Team Captain, Calvin served as the Team's Financial Director.

Calvin is now a Masters of Applied Science student. When he's not doing team work, he's watching, studying and cheering for the Toronto Blue Jays in Major League Baseball.

Zack Fine

Engineering Science 2T4

Zack joined HPVDT in 2020. He has worked on several projects in his time as a member of the team, including re-designing the drivetrains for Cyclone and Tempest, working on the control system for the team's Human Powered Aircraft Program and leading the re-work of Viteza into a more reliable unfaired recumbent for team training and race events.

Calvin Moes Photo
Calvin Moes

Aircraft Project Director and Executive at-large
PhD Graduand, 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. Calvin is skilled in multiple disciplines—including mechanical engineering, structural design, electronics, and aerodynamics. At present, he's also one of HPVDT's leading male riders, and is currently ranked as 8th 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, mountain climbing, hiking, and good food.

Luke Patterson

Sponsorship Director
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, Zephyr and TITAN. 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 Team. He is also responsible for several of the recent videos posted to the Team's YouTube channel, showcasing the Team's ASME projects.

Outside of the team, Luke is currently pursuing his Masters of Engineering Science Degree, studying brain injuries and protective helmet design. In his free time, Luke loves playing hockey and baseball, both as a player and a coach.

Jack Yu Photo
Jack Yu

Co-Sponsorship Director
2nd year PhD (direct entry), Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Jack joined HPVDT in 2017 as a first year undergrad in MSE when he heard the team during the club fair. He was greatly impressed by the concept of high speed human powered vehicles which he saw in an old book when he was a kid and was even more impressed when he knew that the team actually made such vehicles. Throughout the years he has participated in the design and manufacturing of multiple vehicles, mainly focused in the wheel subsystem.

Jack has also been an avid photographer and videographer of the team, documenting the team's racing events and some of the activities posted on social media. His current research is in the direction of electron microscopy and carbon-based supercapacitor electrodes. During his free time, Jack likes to play tennis, listen to music and bike around Toronto.

Rishabh Garikiparithi

Executive at-large
Mechanical Engineering 2T2 + PEYs

Rishabh joined HPVDT in 2019 driven by his passion for cycling, and his aspirations to be at the forefront of innovation in sustainable transportation. For the 2021 ASME project, he designed the frame from scratch and assisted in maintaining the master assembly to ensure all the components Team members were creating fit together properly. Rishabh is also an expert drivetrain repair technician, adept at repairing everything from shifting imbalances to brake and wheel rub. Rishabh has also previously served as the Team's Sponsorship Director.

Outside the team, Rishabh enjoys cycling, woodworking, cooking, and making things with his hands. He believes that the human world can become more sustainable through better design, and he wants to be a part of the push towards sustainable technologies. Rishabh is currently completing a work contract at Tesla in Freemont, CA.

Nish Gandhi

Financial Director
Mechanical Engineering 2T2 + PEY

Nish joined the Team in 2019, and is a mechanical engineering student who is currently completing his PEY at Ontario Power Generation. He is also the Team's Financial Director. Nish has contributed most recently to a project which studied road roughness-induced fairing vibrations in TITAN.

Harvi Karatha

Operations Director
Engineering Science 2T5

Harvi Karatha joined the team in 2021 in her first year to learn more about how to actually apply the ideas and concepts she learned in class. As Operations Director, she manages the smooth transition for new students into the team, safety, and certain administrative responsibilities.

Harvi loves meeting new people and organizing engaging events for the team. Outside of the team, she works in other UofT organizations like UTESCA, EWB, and UTIBC. The best part of joining the team is the ability to really broaden your horizons and work on a multitude of new things

Lincoln Macdonald

Outreach Director
Engineering Science 2T5

Lincoln joined the Team in 2021, and has been an important member in a variety of team engineering projects and events. He has been the project director for re-building Cyclone into a WHPSC-capable vehicle and become a strong rider for the team.

Outside of the Team, Lincoln is the Design Team Association Director and is involved with the annual Skule Nite Production.

Contact us

Calvin Rieder and Zack Fine, Team Captains

Nish Gandhi, Finance Director
Lincoln Macdonald, Outreach Director
Luke Patterson and Jack Yu, Sponsorship Directors
Dr. Jun Nogami, Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty Advisor


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