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Baja SAE team finishes first at 2012 Winter Baja

Mar 13, 2012

Ohio Northern University’s Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team finished first overall at the 2012 Winter Baja competition Feb. 18, 2012, in Lake Linden, Mich.

Hosted by Michigan Technological University, the 2012 Winter Baja featured 48 cars from schools such as Virginia Tech, the Univiversity of Michigan, and South Dakota School of Mines. Although a relative lack of snow made track obstacles smaller this year, race organizers compensated by incorporating a half-acre skating rink into the course, where chains or studded tires are not allowed.

The Baja SAE competition is designed to simulate real-world engineering projects and related challenges. In it, teams must design and build an off-road vehicle that can survive rough terrain. They must act as a team not only to design, build and race the vehicle but also to generate financial support for the project.

“The continuing success of this team is a testimony to their incredible dedication, team spirit and intelligent design,” said David Mikesell, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and faculty advisor for the ONU chapter of SAE. “It’s also evidence that the team has not been built on one superstar, but rather a commitment to excellence shared by all of them.”

The members of Ohio Northern’s team who competed at this event were Brandon Anspach, a senior mechanical engineering major from Rawson, Ohio, Sean Rutt, a junior mechanical engineering major from Apple Creek, Ohio, David Cramer, a junior mechanical engineering major from New Washington, Ohio, Colin Bayman, a junior mechanical engineering major from Urbana, Ohio, Ryan O’Connor, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Mason, Ohio, Tyler Rinehart, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Sebring, Ohio, Clayton Campbell, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Trenton, Ohio, James Crawford, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Seville, Ohio, and James Mong, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Macedonia, Ohio.

In 2011, competing against more than 120 schools, ONU finished fifth, sixth and seventh overall at the three international SAE-sanctioned events. The ONU team placed third overall in the Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award standings, a special distinction for those teams competing in all three events. This summer, the team plans to take a new car to major competitions in Alabama and Wisconsin.