June 10, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
“Ours was the first Indian team ever to endure and complete the four-hour race on the 2.2 mile track at the inter-collegiate SAE International Baja Auburn,” proudly stated Dr. Thirumalini, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, who lead the student team.
“This was our first attempt to participate. The race had many obstacles such as sharp turns, boulders, pits, wooden logs and rocks, that we were able to successfully navigate through,” she explained.
Even though the 24-member Amrita student team placed 56th in the final endurance racing of the 102 teams that participated from universities all over the world, it was satisfied with its performance.
The BAJA event has been annually organized since 1976 by the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) as an off-road vehicle design and racing competition for global engineering students.
This year the event was organized in Atlanta, US at the National Center for Asphalt Technology, Opelika during April 19 – 22.
The all-terrain vehicle designed and built by students of the Amrita School of Engineering at Coimbatore was named ASE Racing. It drew upon the multi-disciplinary skills that students brought forth from the Departments of Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the campus.
It took these students eight months to build the all-terrain vehicle, starting from the stage of conceptual design. Their final creation was a 270 kilogram metallic dark blue vehicle. It was designed to easily maneuver through rough terrain and complicated turns.
The vehicle was built at a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs. In addition to Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the student team also received support from industry, including organizations such as ROOTS Group of Companies, Evergreen Estates (Chennai), Roshan Enterprises (Delhi), Alagu Motors (Coimbatore), DM Auto Industries (Ludhiana), Leena Auto Traders (Delhi), Kollipara and Family (Hyderabad) and Farida Leather Company (Chennai).
“We are extremely satisfied with the way things shaped up. We were a well knit unit and the unity contributed immensely to the final output. We owe our great performance to every single member who contributed in whatever way possible,” shared Adarsh Ganesan, student captain of the team.
Amidst scores of stories that lament the monotony of our educational system, it is refreshing indeed to come across a passionate group of creative youngsters, exploring the joys hidden in the pragmatic aspects of engineering.
“It is extremely difficult to ignore the hard work that went into the making of the vehicle,” commented Dr. Thirumalini.
“One can only hope that such projects are embraced and incorporated into the mainstream curriculum across the country,” she added.