Seventeen University of Maryland students trekked to Pittsburg, Kan. to compete in the 2014 Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Kansas student competition. Accompanied by advisors Greg Schultz and Scott Schmidt, the students participated in a three-day competition—alongside 82 other teams from across the U.S. and abroad—that put them and their vehicle through their paces.
The competition kicked off with technical inspections, design judging, brake testing and a sales presentation on the marketability of their vehicle to a fictitious potential manufacturer. Day two covered dynamic testing of the vehicle and student drivers put their vehicle through a suspension course, maneuverability challenge, sled pull and a speed and acceleration test. The competition culminated with a four-hour endurance event held over a one and one half mile course and is intended to test the capabilities of each of the off-road vehicles.
The UMD team, which consisted mostly of freshman, finished 4th in tractor pull, 6th in acceleration and 28th in endurance, while finishing mid-field for suspension and traction.
For many of the students, this was their first SAE competition experience.
"All-in-all, it was a huge success with a young team," said Schultz. "They had a great time, learned a lot and all want to come back to Baja and Formula next year."
The objective of the SAE competition is to provide student members with a challenging project that involves the design, planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer/industrial market. Students must function as a team to design, build, test, promote and compete with their vehicle.
Check out the view from the driver's seat as Terps Racing's Baja team runs the endurance course.
The Baja SAE Team includes:
Ashley Crouse-Anderson (Mechanical Eng.) Mathew Battaglia (Mathematics) Jaime Berez (Mechanical Eng.) Andrew Cronrath (Mechanical Eng.) Youssef El-Minyawi (Mechanical Eng.) Raphael Elspas (Machanical Eng.) Linus Francis (Mechanical Eng.) Evan Haas (Business) John Hill (Mechanical Eng.) Chris Hubbard (Mechanical Eng.)