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Baja SAE team takes second place at national competition

Apr 30, 2013

The Ohio Northern University Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) team finished second overall at the Tennessee Tech Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series held April 18-21 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn.

The event featured approximately 100 colleges and university teams and was sponsored by Tennessee Tech.

ONU's Baja SAE team.

In addition to its second-place finish, the ONU team garnered third place in the four-hour endurance race, sixth place in the suspension and traction category, ninth place in maneuverability, seventh place in acceleration, and seventh place in cost report.

“Going into the competition, we knew we had a good car. But it wasn’t until dynamics day that we realized how good we really were,” said Sean Rutt, a senior mechanical engineering major from Apple Creek, Ohio, who serves as SAE president for the ONU chapter. “Competing with the likes of Cornell and Rochester Institute of Technology was thrilling, and I knew we were right where we wanted to be. After a successful endurance race, I knew we would place in the top three. A second-place finish is incredible, and I am very happy. This success has been a culmination of the last seven years of ONU’s Baja team, and I would like to thank all of the past Baja members and the University for providing us with the resources to be as successful as we have been.”

In this SAE collegiate design competition, engineering students design and build off-road vehicles that must survive the punishment of rough terrain and water. SAE student teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm.

ONU finished second overall and garnered a third-place
trophy in the endurance category.

The winner of Tennessee Tech competition was Cornell University. Northeastern University finished third.

In addition to Rutt, the ONU students who traveled to the competition were David Cramer, a senior mechanical engineering major from New Washington, Ohio; Kyle Smith, a senior mechanical engineering major from Kirtland, Ohio; Cory Spelman, a senior mechanical engineering major from Canal Winchester, Ohio; James Crawford, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Seville, Ohio; James Mong, a sophomore civil engineering major from Macedonia, Ohio; and Kyle Mapel, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Heath, Ohio. Bill Kanzig, ONU machinist, serves as the team’s adviser.