GW Baja Team Trains at VSTC for International Competition

Baja vehicle being test driven on bumpy field near Exploration Hall at GW's VSTC campus
Baja vehicle being test driven on bumpy field near Exploration Hall at GW's VSTC campus
May 11, 2018

A 15-member team of GW mechanical engineering students have been working hard since August to build an off-road vehicle from scratch for the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual Baja competition in late April. They prepared to compete alongside more than 100 teams from universities around the world.

The competition requires the vehicle to be evaluated in various tests including acceleration, maneuverability and a 4-hour endurance run. They have been building it in GW’s new Science and Engineering Hall (SEH) in Washington, DC and test driving it at GW’s Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn, VA.

“Students are learning how to apply the engineering they learn in the classroom.  In particular they learn how hard it is to design, build and test something, and they usually learn more when things don't work as designed,” said Dr. Murray R. Snyder, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and the team’s faculty advisor.

During multiple test drives they took advantage of the acreage on the Campus to practice driving the Baja vehicle. They learned better handling techniques for future avoidance of obstacles, like fallen logs and had the opportunity to map out a longer course marked with flags on poles.
 

Baja vehicle being driven down a hill at GW's VSTC Campus
Baja vehicle being driven down a hill at GW's VSTC Campus


The team was excited and proud of their hard work as they entered the April 19-22 competition. While they didn’t make it in the top ten, they placed #62 out of 89 with some very stiff competition.

GW Baja Student Team with their Vehicle before April 2018 Competition
GW Baja Student Team with their Vehicle before April 2018 Competition

Check out more pictures and video on the GW Baja Team’s Facebook Page  and more about their efforts in an article in The GW Hatchet.