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Baja Sae Competitions: Meeting And Interacting With International Students – Experiences Of Student And University Participants

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education: Intercultural Awareness and International Experience

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.268.1 - 14.268.12



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Paper Authors


David Hallbach Rochester Institute of Technology

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David W. Hallbach, Rochester Institute of Technology

David Hallbach is a Fifth year Mechanical Engineering Technology student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has been an active member of the University's Baja SAE program, having held several leadership roles including team manager. He is currently working on several projects pertaining to manufacturing processes for which he is striving to obtain several patents. He is a recipient of the RIT Scholarship Award for his excellence in education and hopes to give back to both his team and department. David is also an active member of his local fire department in his home town of Cheshire, CT where he hopes to return upon graduation.

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Martin Gordon Rochester Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Baja SAE Competitions: Meeting and Interacting with International Students – Experiences of Student and University Participants


In today's global economy, engineers must collaborate with their international colleagues.11 Study Abroad is an excellent preparation for this collaboration. Unfortunately, less than 3% of United States (U.S.) engineering students take advantage of such programs.1 Baja SAE competitions may be a good alternative for students to achieve exposure to the culture of their international peers.

Baja SAE student competitions were started in the 1970’s in the U.S. and involve the design, analysis, and manufacture of a single-seat, 10 horsepower off-road vehicle. Initially, only teams from the U.S. and Canada competed. Today, teams from five continents compete in events around the world. At the 2007 Baja SAE Rochester World Challenge, hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), students representing 35 international teams from 9 countries competed alongside 106 U.S. based teams. The eventual winner of the event was a Brazilian team from Sao Paulo, Centro Universitário da FEI.

Baja SAE events can provide the following benefits to participating students:

≠ Interaction with students from different backgrounds. ≠ Travel to experience cultures. ≠ Witness the capabilities and alternative thought processes of their international peers. ≠ Establish personal contacts within their international peer group. ≠ Recognize working challenges between international groups.

Universities are also affected by the experience of hosting or competing in an international Baja SAE event. RIT will be used as a model school to show how visibility and prominence were affected by the school’s participation in and hosting of international events. The RIT campus has hosted two International Baja SAE events. The RIT team competes in three North American events per year, and has traveled to a number of competitions in South America and Africa.

Participating in or hosting Baja SAE events may provide the following benefits to universities:

≠ Increased visibility in the local, academic, and business communities. ≠ Increased prominence within the academic community. ≠ Aids in freshman, transfer and graduate student recruiting. ≠ Associated job fairs for students. ≠ Enhanced alumni relations.

Hallbach, D., & Gordon, M. (2009, June), Baja Sae Competitions: Meeting And Interacting With International Students – Experiences Of Student And University Participants Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4931

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