University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Autumn 2012
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At an international Formula SAE event—its first time in Lincoln—the University of Nebraska–Lincoln placed 50th of 81 registered teams with scores of 66.4 in cost, 42.1 in presentation, 50 for design, and 7.5 in autocross, for a total of 166 points. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Here’s a more telling set of figures: in its first year of competing, with just 18 months to prepare (most teams are veterans with years of competition experience), Nebraska achieved a victory: its Formula SAE car made it to the starting line as the home team in SAE’s Lincoln event, and the performance of both car and team earned respect.

The June 20-23 event, relocated by SAE from California, drew more than 1,000 participants from teams across the nation and from Mexico, Japan and Brazil. The UNL team worked to build a car that would be competitive with their peers and to help students learn from the experience. The team, now led by Mechanical & Materials Engineering student Chris Wilson, is eagerly preparing for the 2013 competition in Lincoln in June.

baja race team and car photo

UNL’s Baja SAE team finished fourth among 79 collegiate teams at the 2012 Baja SAE Oregon competition in May—the highest finish achieved by the Nebraska Engineering team
at this major competition.

“We were extremely close to getting third,” said Corey Kruse, former team captain. “We ended up getting sixth place in the rock crawl, sixth place in the hill climb, 14th in maneuverability and ninth place in acceleration. We finished fifth overall in the dynamic events (those four individual events pooled together) and ninth place in the endurance race. We also got 16th in design and 15th in cost.” Kruse said these results combined to give Nebraska the fourth place finish overall.

The team didn’t fare quite as well at a follow-up competition in Wisconsin, but the 2013 team is now at work, led by Mechanical & Materials Engineering senior Zach Blackford.


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