Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions, and now several international events, that simulate real-world engineering projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are given a mission to design and build an off-road style vehicle that will survive severe punishment of rough terrain and sometimes water.
Each competition is comprised of various static and dynamic events. Not every competition has the same
events, but are made up of Cost, Design, and Presentation for static events, and Acceleration, Maneuverability,
Pulling, Suspension & Traction, Mud Bog, Hill Climb, Rock Crawl, and Endurance for dynamic events.
Note: the red events are included in every competition
The object of the competition is to provide students with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team not only to design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate sponsors for their vehicle and promote their team while still managing their educational priorities.
All vehicles are powered by a 10 horsepower Intek Model 20 engine donated by Briggs & Stratton Corporation. For over twenty-five years, the generosity of Briggs & Stratton has enabled SAE to provide each team with a dependable engine free of charge (Thank You!). Use of the same engine by all the teams creates a more challenging playing field for all of the teams.you can find the Baja SAE competition rules here.
The University of Oklahoma has a wide variety of student engineering projects. Teams other than SOR include the Human Powered Vehicle, Sooner Racing Team (FSAE), Design Build Fly, Solar Car, Electric Go-Cart, Concrete Canoe, and Steel Bridge. OU has had a long history with Baja, hosting and winning numerous competitions back in the mid 90's, and having multiple teams, including an all female team.
The Baja vehicle is built in house in the OU AME machine shop and the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility (EPF), where students are able to get hands on experience from the concept design stage all the way through testing and competition preparation. This allows students to firsthand experience various software used for things such as CAD & CAM, FEA, etc. as well as student created spreadsheets and software used for designing the car. When it comes time to actually make the car, the students have the opportunity to use and hone their skills on CNC Mills and a CNC lathe, as well as a various assortment of manual machines commonly found in any machine shop. This helps move students closer to being the best in the industry as soon as they leave the university.
After the completion of an entirely new concept vehicle, the team is ready to bring it to the next level. The goals of creating a better quality, light weight vehicle, require the use of more complex materials, software, and machines to create beautiful, lightweight, functional parts. The team is moving forward from the time when "Just build it and see if it works." was the motto of the design process to a time where we are teaching freshmen how to use CAD and conduct FEA simulations. Of course, testing is just as important as it ever was considering software can only estimate what will happen in very few scenarios.
We could never come as far as we have over a mere 5 years if it were not for our very generous sponsors. Every competition team at OU is very lucky to have the design and manufacturing facilities that the university has given us. Did you know that the EPF was built entirely for the students? There are no classes taught in this building except for the instruction on the $X million oil rig simulator.
Not only is the university a great sponsor, but our other sponsors that allow us to learn how to become great engineers using their products and the large number of people who support us and cheer us on are great as well. We could not have a truly tremendous vehicle if we didn't have all of you. (Also thanks to the parents who came with us to competition and cooked food, took pictures, made runs to various stores, and were there for the entire team. We loved having you!)
Look out for this team as we continue our strive for excellence to promote our university, our team, and ourselves in the next competition.