A group of UTC engineering students competed against 100 teams in the first of three 2013 Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International competitions on April 20-21 and recorded a spectacular finish in the top ten overall along with  Cornell, University of Michigan, and Rochester Institute of Technology.  The UTC team also placed fifth in the endurance race. The event was held on the Tennessee Tech campus in Cookeville, Tennessee.  See the results here.

The student Baja team

The student Baja team

College engineering students are encouraged to enter one of 12 different SAE Collegiate Design Competitions, “events that put classroom training into action by challenging students to design, build, and test the performance of a real vehicle in a competitive environment.”

UTC team members Amjad Abdullah, Matt Addison, Jared Baker, Justin Cartwright, Corey Cresswell, Casey Dillon, Chris Hawk, Maria Loza, Khannh Nguyen, Brandon Rodgers,  and team leader Emily Stark are sponsored by Volkswagen, DENSO, Fox Racing, BS Solidworks and ALSTOM.

“This is a whole new vehicle,” Stark explained.  “We made some changes—last year’s system was heavy.  It was difficult to cross obstacles.  We redesigned the front and rear suspension.”

This year’s vehicle also had a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).  “CVT takes away some driver control but it has added fast acceleration,” Stark said.

This tough team returned to campus Sunday night after an exhausting weekend, then many of them woke up early Monday morning to take an 8 a.m. exam, according to Dr. Will Sutton, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The 2013 team of UTC students has two more races ahead of them:

  • May 16-19 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington
  • June 6-9 at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York

“Collegiate Design competitions draw more than 4,500 students from 500 universities on six continents,” according to the SAE website.

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