Cars at campus: NKU auto engineers


Nathan Rogers, president of the SAE Baja club, welds a piece for the buggy they built. Photo by Maggie Pund.

NKU’s own society of engineers took some time from building a pulley system to talk to the Journalism of the Digital Age press to talk about the recent mini Baja competition on June 6th through the 9th. Nathan Rodgers, president of the NKU Society of Auto Engineers, said the auto engineers consist of seven people.

“My favorite part of it is the endurance,” Nathan said. When he explained what the club did, he said “we have to rebuild vehicles all by ourselves.”

During the last Baja race, the Norse team came in at an impressive 57th compared to the previous year’s 94th place. To enter the competition the Norseman had to raise $1,050 just to register. From the department, the chapter gets $2,000 for parts and materials as well as $2,300 for travel. Some sponsors for the society of engineers are herbs garage, a dumpster company, and Polaris. Polaris gave the team $900 struts. NKU competed against different colleges from all over the world.

Some interesting facts about the buggy are that it can only go 30 mph. The foam numbers are so the judges can see the buggy even when it is all muddy from the dynamic portion of the contest. The buggy is also a stick shift.  The dynamic portion consists of hill climbing ability of the buggy, off road abilities, suspension and traction. During the static portion, the team had to show how the car was built, and present the car to the judges.

Nathan has been president of the society of engineers since his second semester of his freshman year. The team gets gifted free struts every other year. Every year the team gets a free engine.