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Engineering students enter 2007 Midwest Mini Baja

Engineering students are again competing in the annual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) intercollegiate 2007 Midwest Mini Baja® Series competition in Rochester, New York. It is the second consecutive year the University has entered the competition; last year’s entry placed 19th among 168 entries, higher than many well-known engineering colleges and universities.

This year, the UTC Mini Baja team captains are Justin Littell and Jason Brown. They have guided their team’s new design to be more compact with a shorter wheel base, more maneuverability and the vehicle is 125 pounds lighter than the 2006 model, according to Brown.

Acknowledging that the 2007 team benefited from the experience of the 2006 UTC team, the captains are also pleased with the way this year’s team has worked together and the skills each individual contributed.

“We expect there will be only three or four drivers for the competition,” Brown said. “Every time you make a pit stop, you lose time.”

Brown says the team has built its own gearbox, and it has built the vehicle to attain its best possible performance.

The team’s confidence was bolstered when the entry was presented to the Chattanooga Engineers Club and members gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“The quality of the car is excellent, but the quality of the education and teamwork learned by the participants will advance their careers. There is no substitute for experience, and these students will have an item on their resume that will translate to enthusiasm and real-world engineering knowledge at every job interview and project they work on throughout their professional careers,” said Stephen Smith, President of the Chattanooga Engineers club.

Each participating team in the Midwest Mini Baja is tasked with designing, building and testing a vehicle to compete in one of six regional competitions. As part of this competition each team is required to submit, for review by the SAE judging body, a technical report documenting the design of their vehicle.

“The Chattanooga Engineers Club enthusiastically supports these students and the University in providing real world experience in engineering. We wish them well in the competition; they are already winners," said Smith.

June 8, 2007