Briggs & Stratton Builds on its Decades-long Commitment to Baja SAE

Baja Collegiate Design Competition
Students’ all-terrain vehicles are tested in the Baja Collegiate Design Competition’s dynamic events, including acceleration, braking, hill climbing and maneuverability.

Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power continues to strengthen its longstanding relationship with SAE International and the Baja Collegiate Design Competition. The company has been the exclusive provider of engines for Baja SAE since the program began. This year marks the first time teams were provided a 10-gross-horsepower Vanguard commercial engine.

Briggs & Stratton has sponsored the event since 1976 when Frederick P. Stratton Jr. partnered with SAE to provide dependable engines for the new Baja Collegiate Design Series. The event has since expanded to include about 2,000 active university programs around the world. In addition to providing Vanguard engines, Briggs & Stratton provides technical and engine expertise.

“Briggs and Stratton is continually seeking to improve the industries where our customers work. One way to do this is by providing opportunities for future innovators and industry leaders,” said Jim Cross, marketing manager, Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power. “Baja SAE aligns perfectly with this goal and is a rewarding way to invest in the next generation.”

close-up of a vanguard commercial engine
This marks the first year that Baja SAE design teams were provided a 10-gross-horsepower Vanguard commercial engine.

Baja SAE competitions are structured to simulate real-world engineering projects. Teams of engineering students design, build, test, promote, race and develop financial support for their vehicles. Each team’s goal is to create a prototype single-seat, all-terrain vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain in dynamic events, including acceleration, braking, hill climbing and maneuverability.

“The dependable performance of Vanguard engines makes them an ideal fit for the Baja competition,” Cross said. “Through our rigorous testing, we’re able to ensure that every engine withstands the most demanding conditions and harsh environments, whether it’s at a job site or powering advanced all-terrain vehicles.”

The competitions also incorporate planning and manufacturing tasks associated with the introduction of a new product line to the consumer recreational vehicle market. The main objective is to develop a viable production model to be selected by a fictitious firm. Each year, international engineering, automotive and racing companies attend the highly competitive events to recruit top engineering students.

Engineering students build and test their all-terrain vehicle
Engineering students build and test their all-terrain vehicle to survive the severe punishment of rough terrain in the Baja Collegiate Design Competition’s dynamic events.

This year’s Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series competitions were held in Gorman, Calif.; Pittsburg, Kan.; and Peoria, Ill.

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