HPV Race

Senior industrial engineering major Tiana Sherman of Washington, Illinois starts the race in SIUE’s human powered vehicle. 

After creating a Human Powered Vehicle and racing it in Michigan back in 2019, senior Tiana Sherman looks to have a successful future ahead of her.

Sherman is an industrial engineering major from Washington, Illinois. Back in 2019, Sherman was a part of the SIUE engineering team which qualified to compete in an event held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Schools from around the world brought their HPVs to compete.

“You go to these competitions, you travel to Michigan State, and compete against other big named schools. There is a school from Egypt that comes, there’s a school from Canada. We get to compete against really well-established universities,” Sherman said.

Sherman and her team placed among the best in the nation at the HPV event, finishing 11th out of the 50 teams. Sherman said she is a very competitive person and even though they didn’t get first, it was exciting to be a part of the competition.

“I’m a very competitive person so it’s exciting to go and compete against schools that have a lot of resources and a lot of talent, and then watch SIUE do better than a lot of them,” Sherman said.

Professor Michael Denn is a mechanical engineering professor for SIUE. He said when Sherman joined the engineering team to work on the human powered vehicle, they didn’t recruit her to the project. She showed up with a lot of enthusiasm and therefore joined the team. When they came back from Michigan, everyone was very impressed with her work ethic and her drive.

“She’s really great for the team because she’s got a real positive attitude. I think she was a large part of their success,” Denn said.

According to Denn, Sherman was also a very gifted student, always getting involved in the class and asking questions.

“She is a very good student. I only had her in one class but she was quite accomplished in what she was doing and I always liked having her in my class,” Denn said. “She asked a lot of questions and was really interested in understanding the material, not just knowing it on the surface.”

Denn said every one of these organizations has a core group of students, around four or five, who are the ones that really make things like the HPV happen. Sherman is one of those students for SIUE.

“[Sherman] right away went into being part of those core students, she took it on and said ‘I’ll do it’,” Denn said. “Not much earlier, she wasn’t on the team and then all of the sudden she was on the team and she was sort of a central part of it.”

Senior Thomas Giacobbe of Glen Carbon, Illinois has a similar experience with Sherman. He is majoring in mechanical engineering and has taken many classes with Sherman. He said he and Sherman have been good friends since their freshman year.

“We had a physics course together, and she sat in the middle of the class. She was very happy and bubbly all the time,” Giacobbe said. “We found out that we had honors courses together, and she really liked to include everybody. She’s very smart, and she was always at the top of the class.”

In a friend group he and Sherman formed with classmates, Sherman was the one who helped everyone, Giacobbe said. They always tried working together and leaned on each other for help and advice. He said Sherman was one of the top students in the department, and she helped him throughout the classes they shared.

“She’s a leader and a very talented individual, and there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll be a rockstar in anything that she does,” Giacobbe said.

Sherman said she recently accepted a job working at Caterpillar as a supply chain engineer. She said she will be in the division of inventory management and said she hopes to work her way up from there.

For more information on Sherman and her team’s project, visit the SIUE website.

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