Under the direction of Mechanical Engineering Lecturer Greg Schultz (related news), students from the University of Maryland Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competed in two spring competitions with vehicles of their own design.

The Mini Baja 100 and the 2005 Formula SAEŽ competitions, sponsored by SAE International, challenged student members to design, build, test, promote and race their own formula-style and off-road recreational vehicles. Both teams built their vehicles for the competitions as part of a special projects class and will receive academic credit for their efforts.

Maryland Mini Baja took 1st in the Hill Climb event at the Mini Baja 100, held at the Caterpillar Tinaja Hills Training Center in Green Valley, Arizona in early June. The Terps? vehicle reached 95.5 feet out of 98. Many teams didn't even go 20 feet, and none were able to completely crest the hill. Maryland also won 3rd in the Acceleration event, also performing well in maneuverability category.

The 2005 Formula SAEŽ competition was held May 18-22 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. While the Maryland formula car did not fare as well as the baja vehicle, the team was clearly the fastest car of the day during the endurance race until a fuel pump failed after the first lap. However, they ranked with the fastest lap time for their effort.

?They got quite an education this year about hard work and engineering,? says Schultz. ?A number of parents traveled to the competition and remarked how happy they were that their children had an opportunity to participate in the Formula SAE class.?

Maryland?s mini baja team will compete at the SAE Mini Baja Midwest competition in Troy, Ohio June 16-19, and hope to redesign and improve on vehicle flaws.

June 15, 2005

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