Virginia Western Community College has been privileged to participate in the Mini Baja challenge since 2006, where we finished first among community colleges in both of the previous competitions. We look forward to many more years of success and continued growth and improvement.
The Mini-Baja competition is an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) sponsored event for engineering students. Students must design and build from scratch a small off-road vehicle that can excel in a range of events including hill climb, log pull, acceleration, and endurance tests. Students must also create a presentation detailing technical specifications and justifying design decisions. Every team must use an unmodified Briggs and Stratton 10 hp engine. Aside from the engine, teams must design and produce all remaining components for the car including chassis, roll cage, transmission, drive train, suspension, and steering.
Students will be applying the theoretical knowledge learned in advanced mathematics, physics, and engineering classes to solve real world design challenges in building the competition car. Other valuable skills will be utilized and improved upon in the course of building the vehicle. Students will be using rapid-prototyping machinery, various welding techniques, and a range of hand and power tools.
Several competitions are held each year and draw teams from colleges around the world.