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Build and race with UMBC Racing

A Student Organization on Campus

Jamie Heathcote

Staff Writer

UMBC Racing has remained in the top 10 global ranking since 2009 and they hope to continue that momentum while maintaining a strong team of members from diverse backgrounds. During the team’s first meeting of the semester, Eugene Morgunov spoke to current and potential members.

Attendees of UMBC’s Fall Involvement Fest may have noticed an interesting vehicle on display. Not only is this a student-made vehicle from UMBC Racing, but it is also a strong competitor in the Baja SAE competitions.

The Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is an international collegiate competition. It provides students with the chance to design, fabricate, test and race their single-seat vehicle in off-road competitions. UMBC Racing prepares carefully for these competitions.

Josh Taggart, a junior mechanical engineering major and a proud member since this past February, is always eager to share what UMBC Racing is all about and how anyone, regardless of their major, is more than welcome to join in constructing and racing these well-built speedy machines.

In the United States, competitions contain about 100 to 120 teams from across the country as well as teams from Canada, Mexico and South America. Along with Taggart, Eugene Morgunov, who is the team captainof UMBC Racing and a graduate student studying mechanical engineering, spoke during the team’s first meeting of the semester on Wednesday Sept. 10.

It is important to remember that this team isn’t solely made up of mechanical engineering majors, as Taggart has mentioned. In fact, the team is also comprised of physics and computer science majors. Morgunov said, “We are also in need of graphic design majors,” making it known that diverse backgrounds and majors are encouraged among members.

As for achievements, Morgunov said, “We have been in the top 10 in the North American Baja SAE Championship every year since 2009. In that time, we have had two podium finishes with a second and third place finish in 2011 and 2012.” Considering the fact that this is an international design series, their top 10 ranking is global.

The Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award is awarded to those who competed in all three Baja SAE events in the United States and Canada and has the highest standardized point total in all three events. UMBC Racing received the second place Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award in 2011 and third place in 2012.

Addressing the room full of senior and potential team members, Morgunov said “We design based on the data we collect. We do more tire testing than many teams, which is why we’re so successful.” The team focuses on working together and making changes to improve.

With a vehicle still under construction, preparing for a race in Churchville, Maryland in May 2015, UMBC Racing is still welcoming anyone who is interested in joining, and as their motto goes, “Engineering the future. Engineering to win.”