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05-15-2008

Clarkson University Baja SAE Team Competes in Tennessee

The Clarkson University Baja SAE team recently participated in the 2008 Baja SAE competition at Tennessee Technological University. The team is part of the University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program.

In the Baja SAE event, college teams design and build a prototype of a rugged, single seat, amphibious, off-road vehicle. The vehicle must be safe and able to negotiate rough terrain (including water) in all types of weather without damage.

Clarkson finished in 24th place overall out of 99 entries and received a fourth place finish in the competitive suspension/traction event. The team also finished eighth overall in engineering design, seventh in water maneuverability and 16th in acceleration and land maneuverability. If not for a faulty clutch component in the grueling endurance race, the team was looking at a possible top-ten finish.

Clarkson has entered a vehicle in this event since 1978 and celebrates it 30th year in 2008. The team will also compete in June at the Baja SAE Montreal race.

The SPEED program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives, exemplifying Clarkson's "defy convention" approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 350 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design, analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills, such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil and Turner Construction Company.

Clarkson University crosses the boundaries of disciplines, nations and cultures in order for discovery, engineering innovation and enterprise to come together. As a result, faculty and graduates grasp the full impact of their calling, direct their research to the world's pressing issues and lead with confidence and distinction. One in seven alumni is already a CEO or other senior executive. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., just outside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Clarkson is home to 3,000 students preparing for rewarding careers through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, science, and health sciences, as well as unparalleled outdoor recreation and life experiences beyond the classroom.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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