Professor Glen Bright and Professor Freddie
Inambao with participants in this weekend’s SASOL
Mini Baja competition.

Two teams of undergraduate students from UKZN’s School of Engineering will participate in the 2014 Sasol Mini Baja competition at Gerotek in Pretoria.

Most of the components for this year’s UKZN cars have been designed and manufactured on-site at the Mechanical Engineering Workshop on the Howard College campus.

Project Leader, Professor Freddie Inambao, said: ‘Students are encouraged to use knowledge gained in the classroom in order to come up with creative and innovative designs that make the Mini Baja SAE project so unique.  Hands-on knowledge gained from this and other student projects give the students a competitive edge when entering the industry.’

The teams’ main goal in the competition is for their vehicle to be voted the top performing Mini Baja at the competition.

Team 1 member Mr Novashan Moodley said: ‘The SAE Baja competition is a platform designed to expose tertiary students to engineering design and manufacture and the importance of planning in the real world. The mini Baja we have entered is the one created in 2012 as a final year design project. Having finished 3rd overall in the 2012 competition we aim to win this year.

‘We chose to keep most of the setup the same as it has already proven itself to withstand the torturous endurance race as well as please the judges in other competition events. Changes include a new engine donated by Briggs and Straton and the mounting of the gearbox in an attempt to reduce an overheating issue the 2012 team experienced during the endurance part of the competition.’

Mechanical Engineering Academic Leader Professor Glen Bright, said he was very proud of UKZN’s teams and wished them good luck at the competition.