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BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 – a destination for every Auto Engineering student

BAJA SAE INDIA has become a popular name in the minds of Indian Engineering students. BAJA SAE INDIA represents an event organised by SAE INDIA in collaboration with the giants of automotive industry like Mahindra & Mahindra, General Motors and Cummins. The objective of the event is to allow a group of Engineering students to design, fabricate, test and validate a single seater off-road vehicle. The off-road vehicle made by the students is then judged based on various parameters like design, safety, durability, build quality, rule book compliance.

The event was first started in 2007 at Indore, Pithampur on NATRAX test tracks. Since then the event has grown in number of participating teams, vehicle quality, test track developments. In order to bring a uniformity in all the vehicles, BAJA SAE INDIA every year launches a rule book which is basically the bible for the students. They need to follow the rule book while designing the vehicle. The rule book contains guidelines for roll cage design, safety aspects, limits on the vehicle dimensions etc.Also the engine is common to all the vehicles which is supplied by Briggs and Stratton. This event involves the designing phase, manufacturing phase, testing and validation of the vehicle and finally the main event. The teams are usually divided into various sub- departments like Chassis, Powertrain , Suspension & Steering, Brakes,Electrical and Marketing. The departments are made in order to excel in each aspect of the vehicle building.

Note : BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 is scheduled from Aug 1 -Aug 2, 2014 in Gujrat Technological Univeristy, Ahemdabad.

VIRTUAL ROUND:

For BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 there are more than 300 teams registered across the country and not all of them will get a chance to build an off-road vehicle. Considering this level of competition, a virtual round is created where all the teams are required to present their vehicle design and analysis in front of panel of judges from the automotive industry.  The Virtual round for BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 is scheduled from Aug 1, 2014- Aug 2, 2014 at Gujrat Technological University, Ahemdabad. After the virtual round results, a final list of participating teams in the main event is released and only those teams are allowed to go for building their off-road vehicles.

AFTER VIRTUAL SCENARIO:

Now comes the manufacturing phase, which involves material purchase, manufacturing of jigs and fixtures, welding , machining. It is the time where the students get their hands dirty to visualize a marvel which was earlier on computers. It is the crucial time as many problems are addressed during this phase. After the manufacturing phase is completed , the student starts testing of the vehicle and allowed to various rough road conditions for the vehicle in order to pass the tough endurance race held in the main event. After making their off-road buggies, students wait for the main event to fulfill their desire of running their buggies on the tracks.

Team Kshatriya , Car No. 4 at BAJA SAE INDIA 2014
Team Kshatriya , Car No. 4 from VIT University, Vellore at BAJA SAE INDIA 2014

MAIN EVENT:

The main BAJA SAE INDIA event is held at Pithampur, Indore. The event is for four days and DAY 1 starts with an inaugural ceremony followed by the registration of the teams. DAY 1 has technical inspection test of all off-road vehicles which involves Engine check, Tilt test, Figure of 8 test, Rule book compliance and  Brake test. In order to participate in the main endurance race held on DAY 4, the teams have to pass technical inspection. DAY 2 then takes us to the static events where the experts from the automotive industry judge the off-road buggies in terms of design. The vehicle is displayed and the judges of various domains like powertrain, suspension etc. shower their questions on students regarding their design criteria, approach, methodologies etc. DAY 3  is for the dynamic testing of the vehicle. Various dynamic events like acceleration test, hill climb, maneuvering track are conducted . A different suspension track was included in 2014 event, thus there might be surprises for the students even in this year.Day 4 marks the ending of the BAJA SAE INDIA event with final endurance race of four hours on an off-road track developed for the event. The track is designed in such a way it tests durability of the vehicle in all aspects. The major features of tracks are mud pots, sine waves, hills etc. The teams need to run their vehicle for four hours continuously to complete the race. It is the place where many failures in the vehicle take place and the students then take the vehicle to the pit and then repair it to make it once again run on the track. Some vehicles run once again and some do not get into the track after failure.

BAJA SAE INDIA then comes to an end after four thrilling days of off-road motor sports.  A valedictory function is organized for rewarding the students. Various awards like Engineering Design Award, CAE analysis award, Best build quality award,Endurance race winner etc are presented to the various teams.

Bottom Line:

The students give their best to build these buggies and race them in very difficult conditions. This project makes them a quick learner in the field of Automobiles, where they can be directly absorbed by the automotive industry. Students are then recruited through written test and interviews by major automotive companies.This event on a whole is providing India its future automobile engineers who have the skill and the desire to develop automobiles.

Visit Baja India website: www.bajasaeindia.org

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This is Gopal Singh Rathore. I have done my B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from VIT University, Vellore. I am an auto enthusiast and remain curious to learn about automobiles. I have participated in BAJA SAE INDIA in 2012 and 2013 where I was involved in a team from my college for making an off-road vehicle. I was in the suspension department of the team. I love writing about automobiles and is always curious to learn about them at anytime.