• Special to The Sun

Vanzant helps UK finish third at international competition

THE UK WILDCAT PULLING TEAM placed third at a recent international competition. From left are team members Mike Sama (advisor), Courtney Travis, Robert Marker, Shawn O’Neal, Tim Smith (advisor), Pradeep, John Mann, Eric Vanzant (captain) of Versailles, Derek Schadler, Austin Weiss, Jordan McKinney, Lee Frazier, T.J. Wink, Ali Hamidisephr and Saket Dasika. (Photo submitted)

A tractor built by University of Kentucky students, including team captain Eric Vanzant of Versailles, placed third at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

“I am really pleased with the tractor’s performance and the third place finish, and I’m looking forward to putting what we’ve learned toward improving next year’s design,” said Vanzant, a junior biosystems and agricultural engineering major.

In addition to its overall ranking, the UK Wildcat Pulling Team placed third in performance events and first, second and third in each of three tractor pulls.

“Students gain practical planning, design and fabrication skills that can’t be acquired from the normal classroom experience,” said UK engineer associate Tim Smith, who has been the team’s co-advisor for 20 years. “I know by hearing from past team members that their tractor team experience has helped them to acquire and excel in jobs after they leave the university.” Team members are students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and College of Engineering. They spend hundreds of hours fundraising, designing the tractor and writing a design report for the competition.

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