Motivation, mechanical engineering and mud were at the heart of the 2023 Backwoods Baja event at the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Oct. 23. A team of 15 MSOE students attended the event to compete in the Car Carry, Pole Dash and four-hour Endurance Race.

The team was no stranger to the Backwoods Baja after attending several years in a row. The seasoned experts made deliberate design choices to perfect their vehicle. “At the event this year, we took time to look at what other teams were doing to make their cars lighter and nimbler so that when we are designing our new vehicle this year, we can incorporate these designs into a top-level performing car,” said Camden Ellingsen, industrial engineering junior. 

Their most successful event was placing seventh out of 29 vehicles in the Endurance Race. “Our team really came together against the challenges that we did have, and we were able to complete the race for the first time in the last three years.”

MSOE Baja is a student organization that enables students to utilize the skills they learn in class and apply it to a real-world project. The group is currently prepping for their next challenge.

“Our team is now taking the car apart to repaint it for the MTU Blizzard Baja coming up in late January where we hope to fix some of our ongoing problems and incorporate some prototype designs for our next vehicle.”

MSOE Baja is open to students from all majors and is currently looking for new members, especially members who are able to help with engineering their new vehicle. “We are looking to incorporate a torque vectoring system and innovative suspension designs that will feature exotic materials, composites and advanced alloys.”

Students interested in joining MSOE Baja can learn more by attending an upcoming meeting on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in S-262/S-260 or Thursdays at 12 p.m. in S-261/S-262. Follow the group along on YouTube (MSOE baja) or Instagram (@msoe_baja).