Project Nevada

Project Nevada was a project, run by staff and students at the engineering department in Plymouth University. The aim was simple, to break both male and female human powered handcycle land speed records in Nevada 2016. 

Headed up by Mechanical Engineering lecturer, Adam Kyte, the handcycle project had been running for many years as a development and final year dissertation project before the bike was built in 2014 to race in 2015. Unfortunately upon heading out to the event, their athlete suffered a large injury resulting in not being able to race in the bike, nicknamed ‘Baluga’. Adam was forced to ride in the bike and attempt the male record of 46 mph. Unfortunately Adam was only able to achieve just over 30 mph but the bike got to see the track and the team learned a lot about the race and how they could develop the concept for next year. 

For the 2016 event two athletes were selected. First was Chris Jones, an ex military and former student of the university who tours the world racing in different competitions. Second was Sarah Peircy, a former London Marathon winner who trains daily along the river and in the gym in Exeter. Both athletes went through rigorous testing and training for the event from the help and support of Help for Heroes, a UK based charity providing support to those injured in battle. Unfortunately, due to family issues, Chris was forced to pull out of the event just months before the team were due to fly out. The team decided to push forward with Sarah as their main athlete and work on breaking the female record for the event. 

The first project for OW was to produce a crowdfunding campaign video for the project. In previous years, the project had been funded by the University of Plymouth and through sponsorship and donations from surrounding companies. This year, however, the project looked to friends and family for support and in return, get some great rewards. The video was successful in helping the team raise just under £1500 which was instrumental in getting them to the event. Check out the Crowdfunding Campaign here for more information. 

Due to the success of the crowdfunding campaign in conjunction with the need for the team to produce social media content and internal and external communication promotion throughout the University, Open World was invited to Nevada with the team in September 2016. To find out about the event and how the team got along, please go to the news page. 

A range of media was created for the event both through photography, events promotion as well as internal and external media relations videos. The highlight reel was created to show an overview of the event, shown throughout the university, along with being sent to sponsors, used as promotion for the project in 2017 and as part of the awards evening as a direct result of the Crowdfunder Campaign. The video has also been used as promotional content by the Mechanical and Marine departments of the university on open days to attract new students. 

What’s Next?

Open World Productions are currently in the process of editing a documentary of the event. The editing process will be completed in late February 2017 with a trailer release at the beginning of March. This is a very exciting step for the team and hopefully, will lead to more industry contacts and more diverse skillset to branch out into new sectors of the industry.