MARQUETTE – Twelve students from the Northern Michigan University chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers comprised a team that took third place out of seven teams in a mini baja vehicle competition. 

SAE chapters from schools nationwide had a 5-month time limit in which to design and build their own mini baja vehicles from scratch.  On the day of the competition they raced against each other for three hours on a rough-terrain loop track; the vehicle with the most completed laps was declared the winner.  This was NMU’s first time participating in the event, which was held this year at Michigan Technological University.

“The team pulled off an amazing feat considering our budget and time constraints,” said Jeffrey Hoffman (Engineering Technology).  “Our competitors had $20,000 to work with while building their vehicles, whereas we only spent a total of $1,500. We also had only 20 weeks in which to design and fabricate it, which is difficult when these are full-time students with jobs.”

The next race is scheduled for June in Dayton, Ohio, with 140 vehicles from universities around the world competing. 

            The SAE members who participated in the competition are (listed by their Michigan hometowns):

            Champion: James Petersen; Ishpeming: Peter Carlson; Matt Klenc; Marquette: Jeremy Klaboe; Piotr Niewiarowski; Justin Pontel; Munising: Daryl Salo; Negaunee: Tom Skewis; Powers: Jason Veeser; Quinnesec: Landen Leslie; Stephenson: Adam Menor; Trenary: Nate Curry.

Prepared By
Becky Kratz