'Baja, in its purest form, is design, build, compete.'
At Olin, over 30 undergraduate engineering students work together to build and race an off-road vehicle. The first-years take a deep dive into design, while upperclassmen take on mentorship roles by showing their teammates how to work quickly and creatively in unpredictable conditions.
The design phase of Baja begins first semester. Students divide into sub-teams to learn the tools necessary to design the vehicle, such as how to design for fabrication and good Computer Assisted Design practices. There is a strict rule book to guide the students because the vehicle has to pass a technical inspection at competition.
“I love problem solving and I always say you don’t have to love cars to love Baja because it’s all about problem solving in really complex ways. Sometimes you might want to raise ground clearance by raising the gearbox up but then you have a bigger half shaft angle and lose power. It’s all about compromise.”