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Great Year for Terps Racing: Baja SAE

Great Year for Terps Racing: Baja SAE

Terps Racing Baja Buggy
Terps Racing Baja Buggy

The Clark School’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2009 Terps Racing teams have had a very successful year, with both the Formula SAE team and the Baja SAE team placing in their final competitions in June.

Baja SAE is the intercollegiate design competition that features the fabrication of an off-road type of vehicle, similar to a ‘dune buggy.’ With adjunct ME Associate Professor Greg Schultz advising the Baja students, the team competed in mid-June at the Baja SAE Wisconsin races. Out of the 100 universities competing, Terps Racing finished 11th overall. In other competition events the team placed 1st in the acceleration event, 2nd in the land maneuverability event, 8th in the mud bog, 17th in design and the tractor pull, as well as 22nd in endurance. In addition, the teams placed 3rd overall at the Alabama races in April. “I’m very proud of this accomplishment,” says ME Department Chair Dr. Avram Bar-Cohen, “That’s engineering!”

The Baja team members include Josh Skroupa and Beth LeBrun (team leaders), Zach Panneton, Josh Cantor, Cliff Klein, Cooper Linde, and Chris Weir. Graduate students Vegard Hamso and Greg Ramsey mentored the team. With four of the members returning next year Schultz is confident that, “With the lessons learned and success from this year, I strongly believe Baja can win one of the races next year.”

During the off season, the Baja team works to improve past designs. Team leader Beth LeBrun says, “For us, summer is a great opportunity to redesign…it's a lengthy process that takes the whole summer.” Preparation for the events begins about 4-5 months in advance, although according to LeBrun, “[T]he design process is really ongoing.” The Baja team concentrates specifically on off-road driver training, a crucial part of the competition. To practice endurance and durability, the team travels everywhere from Southern Maryland to the mountainous regions of Pennsylvania.

Students interested in participating on either FSAE or Baja SAE can register for ENME408: Selected Topics in Engineering Design or join the Terps Racing Club.

For more information please visit: www.terpsracing.umd.edu.

September 1, 2009


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“Maryland is definitely being regarded around the competitions now as a top-tier school.”



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