By placing 13th in the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja design competition held in Bellingham, Washington, the Racing Mocs made UTC history.
“It’s our best ever overall finish. We beat all Big Ten, all Big 12, and all SEC schools. Placing tenth in design makes me especially proud,” said Dr. Will Sutton, dean of the college of engineering and computer science.
In this fifth year the Racing Mocs have participated in the competition, they designed, built, and tested an off road vehicle. Unlike the East and Midwest Baja competitions, the competition hosted by Western Washington University included a rock crawl and sales presentation where the team explained how they would manufacture and market their vehicle.
“This year we redesigned a Honda transmission. We knew it would be hard work but we also knew our team had the skill to do it,” said Jeremy McMillian, team project manager and systems engineer.
The team designed and built a vehicle with a 5-speed gear box, custom steering system, more operator control and better performance and durability. “It was lighter and accelerated more quickly than last year’s vehicle,” said McMillian.
Improved design helped the Racing Mocs place seventh in the endurance race and sixth in the rock crawl, after many other teams’ vehicles broke down.
The Racing Mocs team included 11 mechanical engineering students, one industrial engineering student, and three underclassmen. Though the team was supervised by Dr. Ron Goulet, associate professor of mechanical engineering, McMillian said the SAE Baja project was student driven.
“It’s a strong testament to the undergraduate program at UTC that we outperformed larger schools in an international competition with schools from Canada, Mexico, and South Africa.,” said McMillian.
See UTC’s online results here.