New Mexico Tech Team Excels in International Competition

Oct. 12, 2022


Mechanical engineering students race off-road vehicle

New Mexico Tech SAE Baja Team
New Mexico Tech's team at the Arizona Baja SAE Competition hosted by Caterpillar.

SOCORRO, N.M. – New Mexico Tech mechanical engineering students recently returned from Green Valley, Arizona, where they raced their off-road vehicle in an international competition. The New Mexico Tech SAE Baja Team competed in the Arizona Baja SAE Competition hosted by Caterpillar and held at the Caterpillar Tinaja Proving Grounds. Held Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, 2022, the event hosted 51 collegiate teams involving four days of technical inspections, design presentations, dynamic events, and an overall endurance race.  

New Mexico Tech's off-road vehicle
New Mexico Tech's off-road vehicle lines up for the Arizona Baja SAE Competition.

In the static events, New Mexico Tech took 13th place in sales presentation and design, and they took 28th place in the cost event. In the dynamic events, the Tech team took 30th place in acceleration and 18th place in maneuverability with driver Darren Marcelino, fifth place in the tractor pull with driver Micheal Lucero, and 19th place in suspension and traction with driver William Jackson. With drivers Micheal Lucero, Quinten Wood, and William Jackson, the Tech vehicle went 25 laps in the endurance race and took 22nd place. With 530.69 points out of 1,000 possible, the team’s overall place was 19th.     

New Mexico Tech off-road vehicle
New Mexico Tech's off-road vehicle competed in the Arizona Baja SAE Competition.

“The competition was a very successful one for the NMT Team as they accomplished several goals, most notably improving their steering (allowing them to complete the maneuverability event for the first time in six years), top 10 finish in the tractor pull, and, for the first time in over a decade, to still be on the track at the end of the endurance race,” said Hollis Dinwiddie, P.E., faculty advisor, and engineering science instructor. “Although they did not take home the gold, they worked extremely hard and represented their school with a professional and competitive die-hard attitude.”

NMT vehicle at Arizona SAE Competition
The New Mexico Tech team's off-road vehicle is set in place for the Arizona Baja SAE Competition.

New Mexico Tech’s Baja SAE competition team: team lead Michael Tayler, systems engineer Tristen James, suspension lead Darren Marcelino, Patrocinio Flores, William Jackson, drivetrain lead Daniel Guzman, Mason Kasprowicz, controls lead Quinten Wood, Michael Prothero, Micheal Lucero, Darby Stirrup, and frame lead Caleb Vigils. The team was also joined by three volunteer members: Gavin Less, Brooke Ortega, and James Sandusky. Team members Caleb Vigil and Brandon Pinon were unable to make it to the event but put in a tremendous amount of effort to get the car ready for the competition.