University of Evansville

Mechanical Engineering

Through internships and cooperative education opportunities, UE's mechanical engineering students gain real world experience, making them better prepared to succeed in the professional arena after graduation

Mini Baja Vehicle

The SAE Baja is a competition that simulates real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain while competing against 115 teams from around the world. The object of the competition is to provide universities with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. The team must work together to design, build, test, promote, and compete with a Baja Buggy within the limits of the rules, and also generate financial support.

The buggy itself must be built to be a very versatile machine. The competition includes many areas that will test the handling, traction, suspension, top speed, acceleration, and also the skills of the driver. With so many different environments that the buggy must be subjected to; every aspect of the buggy must be well engineered so that the subsystems will work together flawlessly. Along with being a versatile machine, the buggy must also be durable. It must be able to endure mud, water, dust, and rock obstacles as well as anything else thrown at it. This is something that if overlooked will become a breaking point for the project.

As important as it is to have an off-road capable buggy design, it is more important to keep the safety of the driver in mind. As a precaution the driver is required to wear a helmet and neck support. Along with that, the frame must be designed to protect the driver in case of rollover or collision. In addition, it is required that each buggy have a firewall to protect the driver from anything that might happen to the engine such as a fire. As a secondary precaution to the firewall, each vehicle is required to carry a fire extinguisher. In order to be successful, a team must cover every aspect of the vehicle thoroughly. The team who best achieves this has the best chance in winning the competition.