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Alfred University engineering students celebrate best finish in Baja competition
5/12/17

Alfred University engineering students finished in the 25th position in the annual Baja SAE challenge, a competition in which teams of engineering students from scores of universities and colleges. build and race off-road vehicles in rough, desert terrain. Nearly 100 teams of engineering students competed in the recent Baja SAE competition, sponsored by the Society of American Engineers, and Alfred University’s 25th position was the University’s best finish since it began competing in Baja SAE.

Alfred University students who made the trip to the recent Baja challenge included: Jake Tatlock, Ben Kline, Kyle Knotowicz, Cam Martineau, Austin Enders, Zach Zgardzinski, Caryl Koch, Connor Mann, Yash Parmar and Gunner Brennan. Captains were Tatlock, Kline, Knotowicz, Martineau, Enders and Zgardzinski

Additional Alfred University engineering students who contributed to the effort included: Desirae Barnhart, Josh Logan, Brett McMichael, Lenny Darcy, Casey Kelly, Lee Kerwin, Sebastian Russo, Richard Schmidt, Mike St. Louis, Brendan Tierney, Jacob Whitney, and Matt Zandri.

Team member Jacob Tatlock wrote the following about his own experience in the competition:

“The SAE Baja competition consists of four days of various events. On the first day of competition, I only had to go to an engine check. This was quick and easy once the team and I had gotten the car reassembled after transportation. On the second day, we had to go through technical inspection, which is known to be the most stressful part of any SAE event. On our first attempt through technical inspection, one of the judges did not approve of some of the members of our frame. In order to fix these issues, the team and I had to come up with a plan to accommodate the inspector’s requests in a very quick time frame. The fix required cutting out old frame members as well as welding in new frame members. This experience alone at competition showed me how you can be faced with difficult challenges with very tight time frames, but if you work as a team can overcome those issues with ease.

“After the changes were made to the frame, we breezed through technical inspection the next morning. Once we had passed technical inspection, it was time to race. The next two days consisted of many different dynamic events. All and all, after the four days of competition, our team came in 25th overall out of roughly 100 teams from around the world (Alfred’s best finish in history).

The crew that went to competition included: Jake Tatlock, Ben Kline, Kyle Knotowicz,