AU Press Releases

Saxon Racing Team to compete in national Baja competition

The Alfred University 2009 Saxon Racing Team, led by eight seniors, will compete in the Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition in Burlington, WI, June 11-14.

Baja SAE consists of three regional 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 and sometimes even water.

The goal of the competition is to win a contract from a fictitious firm to produce an off-road vehicle for the consumer market. The regional contests are held to test the field of cars for speed, traction, maneuverability, and endurance.

All vehicles are powered by a 10-horsepower Intek Model 20 engine donated by Briggs & Stratton Corp. For over 25 years, Briggs & Stratton has enabled SAE to provide each team with a dependable engine free of charge. Use of the same engine by all the teams creates a more challenging engineering design test.

The Saxon Racing Team’s entry is a culmination of 300 man-hours of design, construction, and testing. Participating Alfred University team members include Wade Pierce of Ridgeway, PA; Scott Wunsch, Williamsville; Tom Goetz, St. Marys, PA; Mike Yesesky, Phoenixville, PA; Jason Karats, Pittsford; Anthony Mallacoccio, Statesville, NC; Ray Wright, Clyde; Kevin Sisto, Moravia; Weston Ulrich, Boston; Jason Edwards, Phelps; Harrison Hendricks, Sodus; David Kane, Katonah; and David Hensel of Romulus.

Dr. Tim Wong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering for the 2008-09 academic year, is the team’s faculty adviser. He earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in materials science and mechanics from Michigan.

To increase visibility for generating financial support, the team car has appeared in two Purple and Gold (Admissions) Days at AU, and at a speech contest held at Lake Lodge, Alfred. The latter event is part of an annual dinner meeting of the Olean Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, where AU teams competed against teams from Alfred State College. Mallacoccio and Jason Karutz of Pittsford took home third prize that evening for their design presentation.