Credits: 2

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2024

Learning Objectives

The Terps Racing Baja team has three main goals; to give students of all class levels hands-on engineering experience, to better equip students for engineering challenges they will face in the professional world, and to design and build vehicles that are successful at Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design competitions.  This course exists to provide the structure and learning environment that helps achieve each of these goals.

Topics Covered

Fall Semesters

  • Finalize Preliminary Proposals
  • Preliminary Engineering Proposals and Plans Review
  • Welding, Brazing, Soldering
  • Machining
    • Basic anatomy of a the TR Baja car
    • Sub-team informational presentations
  • Fasteners
    • Shop Safety
  • Tire Dynamics
    • The X: drive, Solidworks, Parts Lists, purchasing parts 
  • Preliminary Engineering Reports
  • Vehicle Dynamics – Making it Go Fast
    • Shop skills
  • Vehicle Dynamics – Making it Stop
    • Advanced anatomy of the TR Baja Car
  • Vehicle Dynamics I
    • Shop skills
  • Vehicle Dynamics II
  • Suspension/Steering Design
  • Transmissions/CVT
  • Final Engineering Reports 
Spring Semesters
  • GD&T
  • Engineering Drawings
  • Documentation expectation review
  • Transmissions and CVTs
  • Updated Engineering Reports
  • Competition Attendance Review
  • Metal Failure Basics
  • Engine Anatomy and Basics
  • Testing and Instrumentation
  • Competition Campaign Strategies
  • Design Competition Planning
  • Rules of the Endurance Race


Additional Course Information


Schmidt, Scott


None required; Tune To Win, and Prepare To Win by Carroll Smith recommended.


ENES 100
ENES 220 and ENES 221 recommended


Using the Terps Racing Baja SAE student project as a learning instrument, this course teaches selected concepts in automotive engineering and design.  This class is designed to be complimentary but not a pre-requisite to the upper level three credit ENME408 elective, which focuses on the Formula SAE car that Terps Racing builds and races.

This course and the Baja team built around it work together to provide learning at levels appropriate for both engineering underclassmen and upperclassmen.  To accomplish this the Baja team is designed to be constituent of “course-enrolled members” and “volunteer” members.  Lectures for “course-enrolled” members build on suggested prerequisite knowledge in basic engineering concepts to teach selected areas of automotive engineering.  This content is aimed at engineering sophomores and juniors and is supplemented with project-based opportunities and challenges that create rigor for students who wish to participate at a high level.  Additionally, with “volunteer” members (who will tend to be engineering freshmen) in mind the Baja team encourages these student engineers to get in involved in an intensive engineering project in an accessible way via informal involvement with team activities outside of the course lectures.

Through this balance the team will serve as a good training and teaching platform for the Terps Racing program as a whole.  The team will also provide opportunities that retain experienced students and ensure team membership and continuity and thus success at a high level.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • One 60 minute and one 120 minute lecture per week