UMR team designs amphibious dune buggy

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On March 27, 2007

A team of UMR students is busy designing an off-road and off-land vehicle to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Baja East competition April 12-14 in Ocala, Fla.         

In addition to running their vehicles on a motocross track and through a mud bog, the baja teams are required to equip their “dune buggies” with amphibious properties.

UMR team members are engineering a solution to the floating problem by attaching insulation foam to the bottom of their vehicle. Lately, they’ve been testing the vehicle during covert trips to Little Prairie Lake near Rolla.         

On land, the vehicle is capable of doing about 35 mph, according to team leader Raymon Morehouse, a senior in mechanical engineering.         

Morehouse says all of the teams in the competition start with a 10-horsepower engine and “four-wheeler” tires. The key is to design a frame and components that are both flexible enough and sturdy enough to handle an obstacle course with mud, dirt moguls and water hazards.

Times and distances in various events will be calculated to determine the winning team. The Baja East competition is being hosted by the University of Central Florida.         

Last year, UMR’s Baja Team entered its first competition, the SAE Baja Midwest. But that competition didn’t have the amphibious requirement.         

“Our vehicle floated the first time we put it in the water, so we’re feeling pretty good about it,” Morehouse says.         

Members of UMR’s 2007 Baja Team include: 

– Lane Ehlert, a freshman in mechanical engineering from Foristell, Mo.

– Steven Gullen, a sophomore in engineering management from Morton Grove, Ill.

– Joe Konetski, a senior in nuclear engineering from Roscoe, Ill.

– Brandon Leslie, a junior in mechanical engineering from Raytown, Mo.

– Kaleb Luna, a freshman in aerospace engineering from Mountain Veiw, Mo.

– Philip Meeks, a freshman in petroleum engineering from Liberty, Mo.

– Raymon Morehouse, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Robert, Mo.

– Brent Piercy, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Jonesboro, Ark.

– Willie Sanchez, a senior in mechanical engineering from Lancaster, Mo.

– Adam Stumpf, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Columbia, Ill.

– Wes Thomas, a senior in mechanical engineering from Independence, Mo.

– Michael Warren, a junior in civil engineering from Raytown, Mo.

– Jeff Williams, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Homer Glen, Ill.

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On March 27, 2007. Posted in News