Written by:  Kelleigh Ash

ETTN members recently partnered with The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) by volunteering as judges in the 2021 Baja SAE Intercollegiate competition. Student engineering teams from across the country designed prototype single-seat, off-road, all-terrain race vehicles and presented their comprehensive operational, production, logistics, business, and marketing plans to a panel of judges.  

The competition was fast-paced and intense, despite being virtual. The teams shared creative, detailed, and passionate presentations.

ETTN members worked alongside the other volunteers as a diverse group of industry professionals. All volunteer judges were excited and honored to collaborate with the next generation of automotive aftermarket talent. It was amazing to see the SAE teams adapt their presentations in a virtual environment and the many innovative ways they communicated their ideas. Some teams utilized 3D CAD animations, some teams utilized video, and some teams showed off their vehicles and business plans live and in-person in their school labs.   

The Formula SAE and Baja SAE competitions are fantastic ways for engineering schools across the country to expose the automotive aftermarket to their students. Many students showed new passion, enthusiasm, and new approaches and ideas that would impact the industry. The volunteer judges welcomed their innovative ideas, and many judges shared that they would welcome those students into their companies or groups.

The SAE competitions showed that the automotive aftermarket could inspire new engineers and product developers. A career in the automotive aftermarket can encourage students' innovations and allow the students to impact the industry.