Students from Missouri S&T will demonstrate the engineering principles of off-road vehicles by racing a student-designed and -built Baja vehicle during the Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Maryland collegiate design series.
The event will be held April 19-22 at Mechanicsville, Maryland, with racing happening at a nearby off-road track. This is the team’s first event for the season – it will also travel to the Baja SAE Kansas event later this summer.
Missouri S&T’s Baja SAE Design Team will compete against approximately 100 other collegiate teams from around the world in a series of competitions, comprised of both presentations and races. Each team was tasked with building a vehicle prototype that could theoretically be selected for manufacturing and sold to the public.
Teams will first give a formal design presentation to judges, along with a technical display and cost report. The race portion of the competition is split into five events. The events include a sled pull and tests of maneuverability, suspension and acceleration. The final event is a four-hour endurance race. The course will be riddled with obstacles the vehicles must avoid. Teams will be assessed penalties for infractions like poor or dangerous driving or being a hazard in any way while on the track.
Missouri S&T’s vehicle, like all others competing, is powered by a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine that cannot be modified. Cars reach up to 40 mph on the course while climbing hills, fording streams and navigating through mud. S&T students have made their own CNC-machined transmission case, air shocks and steel chassis for the vehicle.
The Baja SAE Design Team is one of 18 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.
Leave a Reply