On May 19 – 22, a group of six senior engineering majors were the first Geneva College students to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Series, in which students design, build and race their own all-terrain vehicles in a rugged four-hour challenge. Geneva’s vehicle, the GT-1, placed an overall 55th out of 85 participants in the Western Washington competition.
“It’s a massive goal to even finish the events. I think something like 15 percent of cars finish the endurance race. Just to finish day one or two is incredible,” says team member Frank Cacciotti.
Cacciotti, along with teammates Logan Kibler, Philip Ritenour, Matt Susa, Scott Miner and team captain Nick Bloom, entered the competition as their senior design project, the capstone of the engineering program at Geneva. They faced significant obstacles — including inexperience, a small team and a fundraising goal of $10,000 — but with determination, team spirit and the support of the Geneva community, they met the challenge head-on and hope to make the competition a Geneva engineering tradition.
“Apart from a few minor breakdowns, we were pretty satisfied with the performance of the GT-1 car,” Bloom says. “We have lots of ideas for improving in the future.”
Click here for photos and more information about the 2010 SAE Baja Series team.
The SAE Baja Series originated at the University of South Carolina in 1976, and since then, it has become a premier design challenge for engineering students worldwide. The series consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.
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