Michigan Tech Takes Iron Team Award in 2009 Baja SAE

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Technological University's Blizzard Baja Enterprise finished the three-part Baja SAE collegiate design competition at the top of the heap, with more points than any other competitor.

Michigan Tech earned the Mike Schmidt Memorial Iron Team Award, given to the team with the most combined points after all three North American Baja SAE events. Michigan Tech finished eighth in Alabama, second in Oregon and, most recently, sixth in Wisconsin against a field of 99 teams, the largest of the year. The is the first time a Michigan Tech team has taken the Iron Team award since 1981, when the University first entered Baja SAE competition.

Sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Baja SAE challenges college students to design and build an off-road vehicle to survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and sometimes water.

Students build a prototype of an off-road vehicle intended for mass production and sale. With 10-horsepower engines donated by Briggs & Stratton, teams build a new car every school year to enter in up to three competitions. Students design and manufacture most components, using analysis tools and processes that are used widely in industry.

During Baja SAE Wisconsin, held June 11-14 in Burlington, Blizzard Baja achieved the fastest time in the suspension and traction event and garnered the most points overall in the dynamic events, earning the First Place Honda Overall Dynamic Award. During the final event of the competition, the four-hour Endurance Event, the vehicle suffered a broken A-arm. The team repaired the break and had the vehicle back on the track in about 15 minutes, quickly enough to earn a respectable eighth-place finish.

This year the Michigan Tech team pioneered the technology used to manufacture carbon fiber suspension arms as well as a custom brake system. "Blizzard Baja Enterprise would like to thank all the sponsors, alumni and Michigan Technological University for giving us the opportunity and resources to test our engineering knowledge against the brightest students in the world," said Bryan Lyman, president of the Blizzard Baja Enterprise.

For more information on the Blizzard Baja Enterprise visit www.baja.mtu.edu.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.