June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.132.1 - 12.132.13
“A Success Story: The SAE Baja Car as a Capstone Senior Design Project” Abstract
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sponsors regional competitions which are intended to simulate team-based engineering design projects. One such example is the SAE Baja competition (formerly known as the Mini-Baja competition), for which student teams must design and build an off-road that can maneuver robustly through rough terrain. At many universities, the Baja project is organized as a voluntary extra-curricular activity.
This paper describes the success of the Baja team from Bradley University which has worked under the guidelines of a two-semester capstone senior design project course. This eight- member team, consisting entirely of Mechanical Engineering students, can be considered successful based on its work throughout the academic year and based on its performance against 140 teams in the SAE Midwest Baja competition in Elkhorn, WI, in May 2006. This Baja team’s success confirms that a design team for a national competition can perform well while operating under the constraints of this course. Also, there are unique benefits for the students and the faculty advisors under this senior design project format. The principles learned by the faculty advisors from this particular project can be used to help future Baja teams or any student project team.
Topics covered in this paper include brief descriptions of the SAE Baja competition and the two- semester capstone senior design sequence, advising guidelines for project teams in general and for the Baja team specifically, and more detailed descriptions of this Baja team’s work. Some additional benefits and special experiences enjoyed by this Baja team as a result of their success are discussed.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sponsors regional competitions that are intended to simulate , team-based engineering design projects. One example is the Aero Design competition, for which student teams design radio-controlled aircraft that must carry cargo. Another example is the SAE Formula competition, for which the student teams design formula-style racing cars. The competition which is the focus of this paper is the SAE Baja competition (formerly known as the Mini-Baja competition), for which student teams must design and build an off-road vehicle that can maneuver robustly through rough terrain. At many universities, the Baja project is organized as a voluntary extra-curricular activity and previous literature has focused on faculty advising such projects under this format.1 Some of these Baja teams have as many as twenty- five members consisting of students ranging from freshmen to graduate students.
A key component of most engineering curriculums is the capstone senior design project course, for which students must utilize their training and skills to complete the required design tasks. The focus of this paper is the work of the eight-member SAE Baja team which has been performed under the guidelines and constraints of two-semester, capstone senior design course in
Kim, D., & Morris, M., & Deller, R. (2007, June), A Success Story: The Sae Baja Car As A Capstone Senior Design Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2156
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