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Clarkson Mini-baja Team Takes Fourth Place
[A photo for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/mini99.jpg.]
Clarkson University’s Mini Baja Team recently placed fourth overall out of a total of 44 teams that participated in this year’s Mini Baja East Competition at the University of Central Florida.
Ten Clarkson students, lead by senior Jason Mitchell, a mechanical engineering major, traveled to the competition earlier this month accompanied by their faculty adviser, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor Steven W. Yurgartis, and University Photographer Tom Watson.
The Mini Baja competition, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, consists of a number events, including water maneuverability (Clarkson placed first), land maneuverability (fourth), braking (third), chain pull (second), acceleration (fourth) and top speed (third). Clarkson’s Mini Baja team has a tradition of being a strong competitor, and since 1990 has placed in the top-10 nine times, including receiving first place in 1993, 1995 and, most recently, in 1998.
Each year, students from across many academic disciplines are involved in designing and building an entirely new amphibious, off-road vehicle for the competition. This project, as is the case with similar endeavors, provides students with not only the opportunity to apply engineering fundamentals to a real world situation, but to improve such professional skills as leadership, organization, project management and communication.
The Mini Baja project is part of Clarkson University’s SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program which promotes other multidisciplinary project-based learning opportunities including the Environmental Design, Construction Management, FIRST Robotics, Solar Car and the Formula SAE Racing Car projects.