Baja cars may be small, but they are incredibly tough — they’ll tackle the rockiest terrain and make seemingly impossible jumps. And while they’re fun to watch on the track, they’re also taking on important work here on UMBC’s campus, where our students design, build, and race these rough and tumble automobiles.
The ultimate test for any Baja team is the Baja SAE International Collegiate Design Series, an engineering competition that gives undergraduate and graduate students a chance to enhance their engineering and project management skills through a series of real-world challenges. And this year, UMBC is proud to play host to one of the three competitions in North America. Come May, more than 100 international college teams put their Baja vehicles to the test in Mechanicsville, MD. Each team will be challenged to design and build a prototype for a rugged, single-seat, off-road vehicle suitable for use in a variety of conditions. The vehicle must be designed for safe operation over rough terrain, including dirt, rocks, sand, mud, logs, steep inclines, and shallow water.
Of course, hosting the Collegiate Design Series involves several significant expenses, including renting the track location, purchasing materials to build the track, and supporting up to 400 volunteers throughout the competition. That’s why we’re asking for your help. Through your gift to Baja SAE, you’ll not only ensure that our students are getting invaluable real-world engineering experience, you’ll also help them develop project management, marketing, and leadership skills that will be critical in their future careers. And you’ll help us make the 2015 SAE International College Design series unforgettable.