EDWARDSVILLE – It was a streak of success as the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s Cougar Baja team concluded another competitive academic year at a Baja SAE® event held in May and hosted by Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn.

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Baja SAE® consists of competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain. Each team’s goal is to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle that contains the driver. The vehicle is to be a prototype for a reliable, maintainable, ergonomic and economic production vehicle that serves the recreational user market.

Senior Samuel Churchill, of Ottawa, president of the SIUE Baja Team, together with teammates Matthew Buchholz (treasurer), Curtis Lake, Josh Ford, Carson Spies, and Nathan Buss (secretary) competed against athletes from across the country, consisting of 93 teams.

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The team succeeded in the following categories:

  • 3rd in Overall Dynamic Events
  • 2nd in Sled Pull
  • 11th in Maneuverability
  • 8th in Suspension
  • 16th in Acceleration
  • 53rd in Endurance

“We are pleased with our performance,” said Churchill. “Our results from the individual events tell us that with a bit more engineering, we are capable of being a top 25 team.”

The School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

Cougar Baja team members onsite at the Baja SAE® event.

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