The SAE Baja is a student design competition hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). In this competition, students are challenged to design, manufacture, test, and race an all-terrain vehicle to assess its ability to withstand harsh enviroment.A project of this scope requires the application of all the core principles of mechanical engineering and challenges students to be creative and innovative. The ultimate goal of this competition is for the students to present the final product to a panel of judges explaining why their vehicle is better than the rest of the competition. The vehicle will be judged on its cost, manufacturability, reliability, and overall design.
Each year three competitions are held across the United States. In each competition, 100 teams from around the world have their vehicle design evaluated and tested by industry experts in a series of static and dynamic events. The static events include the cost analysis, sales presentation, and design evaluation. The dynamic events evaluate the maneuverability, acceleration, suspension, hill climb, and endurance.
The purpose of dynamic events is to thoroughly evaluate the vehicle and its performance in a variety of environments. The first four events focus on the individual performance of key components. The car has to be fast, have torque, it has to be able to make quick and tight turns, and above all suspension has to perform. The last event consists of the 4-hour endurance, and this is where all of these components come together. In this event there are jumps, there are obstacles, there are turns, rocks, mud, and sometimes even water. To be successful in this competition the vehicle has to do well in all key performance aspects. The weight of the individual events can be found below.
|SLED PULL/ HILL CLIMB||75|
The static events focus the design aspect of the vehicle, where every decision has to be justified and verified by engineering research, analysis, and testing. Here every component must be accounted, and associated costs reported. The static competition challenges students to be innovative and creative with their designs.
The 2017-2018 team consists of 12 highly motivated mechanical engineering students working under the counsel of Dr. Beshoy Morkos and Dr. Gerald Micklow. This year our main objective is to improve the three main subsystems, the powertrain, chassis, and suspension. To do so, we subdivided into teams. The powertrain team is working on improving acceleration time and overall performance of the vehicle. Meanwhile, chassis team is focusing on designing all-new frame and reducing weight by 15%. We are looking at new materials and optimization of our structural design. Suspension team is focusing on tighter steering radius and more durable components.