Tennessee Tech Hosts International Baja Competition

Teams compete on the Baja SAE course.Baja teams from around the world gathered at Tennessee Tech University’s Hyder-Burks Agricultural Pavilion to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series competition held from May 12-15. 

The Baja SAE competition consists of students designing and building small off-road vehicles to be a prototype for a reliable, maintainable, ergonomic and economic production vehicle. Once on-site, each team’s car went through a technical inspection process to ensure the cars were safe for competition. 

The cars that passed inspection then competed in dynamic events, including a sled pull, acceleration test, land maneuverability and a traction and suspension course. The event culminated in a four-hour endurance race which included a wide variety of challenging obstacles and rough terrain. Student teams were also judged on their business, design and overall cost presentations.

“I think the competition experience is incredibly valuable for these college students because it gives them a real hands-on project from beginning to end. They learn not just how to design the car, but also how to build before seeing how it will perform when actually put through all these tests,” said Mechanical Engineering Professor Will Brookshear, who also serves as the faculty advisor for the university’s Baja SAE team and was co-chair of the event’s organizing committee.

Out of the 85 teams who participated, three different countries had representation, including the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

“It is really exciting to have these teams from so many other colleges and universities come to Tennessee Tech to compete. It is a great experience for students to learn real-world skills in design, collaboration, teamwork, presentation and more,” said Mechanical Engineering Chair Mohan Rao. 

For more information on the competition and the complete list of awards and results, go to 

Tennessee Tech's baja car on the course

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