Going off road

December 18, 2012

Engineering students take on new challenge in Baja SAE competition

Mechanical engineering professor Dr. Lesley Wright and several staff members took a team of engineering students from Baylor -- for the first time -- to participate in the Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition in Burlington, Wisc., over the summer.

The competition consisted of three regional competitions designed to simulate real-world engineering design projects and related challenges. Participants were asked to design and build an off-road vehicle that would survive rough terrain, then pitch possible production to a fictitious firm to gain real-world experience.

"I was fortunate to have been able to attend the event and was most impressed as to how the various teams worked with one another offering ideas, loaning tools and equipment, asking for help and learning from one another," said Steve Colburn, who accompanied the Baylor team as the father of one of the students entered in the competition.

More than 100 teams participated in the competition, including several of our Big 12 brethren and even some international teams. Baylor's car passed all technical, safety and design inspections and was competitive against teams that have been involved in Baja SAE for years. The BU car finished in the top 25 percent for two of the five events and 74th overall.

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