The Baja SAE competition is an international intercollegiate engineering design competition focused on the design and fabrication of a small off-road vehicle. Each team works under the premise that it is designing the vehicle to satisfy the needs of recreational users as well as meeting the manufacturability needs of a fictitious firm sponsoring their design. The objective of the 2015 BYU Baja team is to achieve 1st place overall in the Portland, Oregon Baja SAE competition (May 27-30, 2015). In order to achieve top performance, the team will focus its efforts on the design, fabrication, and testing of a vehicle capable of maximizing points in the competition.

Because the BYU Baja team has produced cars for the past two years, it was advantageous to focus design efforts on components that were identified as problematic in previous years’ performance. The goal for this year is to maintain the weight reduction and the improved acceleration achieved previously while improving durability and maneuverability. Although all components will be considered and integrated into the new design, specific attention will be given to five components: the gearbox, half-shafts, rear suspension, steering, and frame construction.

The primary benefit that the Baja SAE project offers to the Department of Mechanical Engineering is international visibility for the ME program and the opportunity to provide a world-class educational engineering experience for students. With over 100 universities represented at the competition, it is an opportunity to display BYU’s engineering prowess and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate interest in and network with engineers in the automotive and ATV industries. In fact, Ford Motor Company donated some funding and scholarships to the team and hired over 20 ME students from BYU this year.

School Year (term): 
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Team Name: 
Dale Tree
Team Members: 
Tyler Glenn, Trent Zimmerman, Kevin Padilla, Kevin Graham, Justin Schoof, Shane Wood, Jon Olson, Alex Ostergaard, Alex Ferencz, Kurt Hinkle

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