Baja is a club composed mostly of Mechanical Engineering majors. Members build vehicles and race them at competitions across the country, competing against international teams. I talked with Paul Kenney, who is an avid member of the Baja Club to learn more about the club. Baja Racing is a competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and is an awesome extracurricular that helps apply the skills students learn in a fun, tangible way. Baja cars are built from scratch by Grove City students and then taken for test drives at our test track located on campus. After months of fine tuning and careful building, the cars are transported to competitions in New York, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, and other states to compete. Cars that can survive the most laps and drive the fastest win. The tracks at the competitions are designed to test the durability of the vehicles.
At Grove City, there are two cars that are available for competition. The club is also building a new one this year, which will replace the older of the two cars. One of the member’s favorite parts of Baja is being able to race the car in the competition, against dozens of different schools and being able to drive the car on the test track on campus. In addition, Baja is a great way to develop one’s engineering skills through design and construction. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a prestigious organization that has a broad network across several different engineering fields, including the Aerospace, Commercial Vehicle, and Automotive departments. So while Baja racing is a fun activity, it is also a great tool to build your professional profile as an engineer. Many employers are impressed with one’s involvement with SAE and are eager to work with students who have build Baja cars.