Norse Baja is moving on up


Cassandra Machenheimer

President of NKU’s SAE club, Nathan Rogers, turns his wheel in preparation for another test run around gravel parking Lot A on campus.

NKU’s Society of Automotive Engineers is making its way to the top in the Mini Baja competition in Rochester, New York.

The Mini Baja is a competition for colleges across the country with clubs that are interested in automotive engineering. After building the car, competitors must pass a series of tests to earn their ranking among other competing cars. The Norse Baja has competed in this competition for three years, and this last competition in New York is proof of the club’s improvement.

“This year we are 57th overall out of 100 teams. This is a pretty big step for us because we were in 96th last year and 94th our first year,” said president of the club Nathan Rogers, a senior at NKU.

The Mini Baja competitions the Norse Baja has attended previously were held Illinois the first year and Wisconsin the second year. There are several static and dynamic events the team must pass. The static events are more aimed toward the design presentation, which includes the aspects of the car and the cost. The dynamic events aim more toward the different things the car is able to do, including hill climbs, chain pulls, and maneuverability.

Nathan said the endurance challenge was his favorite part.

“Sunday, the last day, they get four hours of endurance races, as many laps as you can get in… you’ve just got to try to last the four hours and beat it up and see if it’ll make it,” he said.

Despite only having entered in the Mini Baja competition for three years, the ranking earned in the most recent competition shows how much potential the club has in future competitions.