New autobay dedication and donor recognition

We had a great evening at the opening event for our newly completed autobay in North Garage! Thanks to the generosity of the Ford Motor Company, Altec Industries, 3M, and alumni, we and the Formula and Solar teams now have a wonderful new space to work in. 

From left to right: Joe Hinrichs ( Executive Vice President and President of the Americas for Ford Motor Company), Mikey Diamond (Baja), Dean Julio Ottino, Tiernan Murrell (Formula), and Spencer (Solar)

From left to right: Joe Hinrichs (Executive Vice President and President of the Americas for Ford Motor Company), Mikey Diamond (Baja), Dean Julio Ottino, Tiernan Murrell (Formula), and Spencer (Solar)

We're ready. Are you?

We're ready. Are you?

Ford funds new team trailer

Ford Motor Company has generously donated a new trailer for the Baja and Formula SAE teams. Previously, we had been sharing a trailer with NU Solar, but now with this new one, scheduling around competitions between the three teams will be much easier. 

We got to work covering the floor with waterproof epoxy:

Mikey putting the finishing touches on the trailer flooring

Mikey putting the finishing touches on the trailer flooring

There's already been a couple of Home Depot shopping sprees (it's really just like kids in a candy store). Soon enough, that empty space will be filled with cabinets and all kind of tools.

Thanks a lot, Ford!

Knuckles the Baja is (almost) complete

Today was the big day – the 2014 official unveiling of the Baja and Formula vehicles of this year!  Proudly posed to show off our suspension travel, Knuckles was out today with the team to show off our hard work over the past 8 months since the car’s inception.  The car is running and just about there – only a few things to tune and finishing touches to add before we’re ready to go play in the mud.  A huge thanks to our many sponsors seen here, and everyone who has had a hand in making this car a reality.

Baja springs ahead

We’re back from Spring Break and back to work on Baja!  We finished up Winter Quarter just short of a rolling chassis, and we are now working out some final kinks in the assembly.  Unfortunately, the custom half-shafts we ordered turned out to be 3 inches shorter than what we ordered.  We are currently waiting for the correct shafts to come in, but we have made some good progress on the car.

Front pedal and reservoir assembly

Front pedal and reservoir assembly

Rear wheels and hubs

Rear wheels and hubs

Drivetrain and rear braking assemblies

Drivetrain and rear braking assemblies

We also recently secured sponsorship with Albany Steel & Brass Corp. who gave us a bunch of fasteners.  Thanks!

Once we get the half-shafts in we plan to finish Knuckles and take her out for a couple test drives on campus before doing some more testing at a local off-road vehicle park in May. We’re excited to be on schedule for our May 22-25th race in Pittsburg, Kansas.

NU Baja secures Boeing, Ford, and McCormick funding

This past week Boeing, Ford Motor Company, and the McCormick School of Engineering announced that our team will be awarded a total of $9,500 from their companies and groups! 

These funds come at a great time as the team has just finalized our gearbox and frame designs. All of the tubing for the frame has been cut and coped by Cartesian Tube Profiling this past week, and the gears for the gear box just arrived today. Additionally, we’re purchasing our skid plate material, tires, rims, batteries and tail lights, new safety gear, and our hub materials. The freshmen on the team are taking charge of individual projects – making their own drawings, determining what sort of materials they need, and soon, they’ll be making their own components of the car. As soon as the frame comes in, we’ll be wrapped up in the welding of it, but overall, the design is cruising along.

Murphy Society supports Northwestern Baja

The Walter P. Murphy Society in McCormick School of Engineering has announced that they will be making a gift of $5,000 to help support the great work of the Baja team. The Murphy Society is a group that strives to help support student groups that produce original projects. Through their contributions to student projects, the Murphy Society improves the McCormick undergraduate experience by exposing curious students to hands on engineering work. Their generous gift will go directly to the purchase of our new suspension system and shock absorbers as well as the purchasing, cutting and coping of all tubing for our frame. The Baja team appreciates the support of this great campus group as these gifts are what allow our team do continue to do great engineering.

Team activity update: reports and support

Yesterday, we submitted our cost report for Tennessee comp! It took a ton of time and research and the whole team came out to pull it together. We’ve got the design report due next week, and it will likely be an equally exhausting event. I hope we can get as much help and collaboration for this report as we did on the last one.

These past couple of weeks we heard that our team will receive financial support from both the Chicago SAE group as well as Boeing. Thank you for your help! These funds will carry our team to the SAE competition this spring and help fund the building of our new car for 2014.