SAE Mini Baja is an international intercollegiate engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate engineering students. The objective of the competition is to simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Each team is competing to have its design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to design, build, test, promote and race a vehicle within the limits of the SAE rules, as well as generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities. Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of a four-wheel, single seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the non-professional weekend off-road enthusiast. The vehicle must be safe, easily transported, easily maintained and fun to drive. It should be able to negotiate rough terrain without damage. This reliable prototype is to serve a recreational market sized at approximately 4000 units per year.
K-State has been involved in Mini Baja for almost 20 years. We always strive to develop new and different ideas. We were one of the first teams to attempt an all aluminum-framed car, and last year we were the first team to use hydraulic steering in our car. In addition, K-State has been a competitive team for the last several years, placing 9th in the endurance race in 2009, and 11th in 2008; with overall standing consistently within the top 25 percent. We hope to continue this tradition of quality.
KSU usually competes in two of the three international SAE Mini Baja events held in the United States. The Eastern Event will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on April 14th-17th, and the Midwest competition will be held in Pittsburgh, Kansas on May 26th-29th. Each competition allows teams from across the world to come together and test their designs both statically and dynamically in events such as: Engineering Design, Safety, Cost, Acceleration, Braking, Top Speed, Handling, Hill Climb, Sled Pull, and a 4 Hour Endurance race. The Eastern Event holds a special water competition, which provides an even greater challenge. Sections of the track have water up to 6 feet deep! We must design floats and water propulsion in order to clear these obstacles. This year's team is eager to compete in their first water competition!