Teams from around the world coming to Cookeville to compete for Baja title

Tennessee Tech has won 12 Baja SAE championship titles, the most wins ever by one team. Photo submitted
Tennessee Tech has won 12 Baja SAE championship titles, the most wins ever by one team. Photo submitted

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech University will host the annual Baja SAE competition April 14-17 at the Hyder-Burks Agricultural Pavilion – an event that will bring 100 teams from around the world to town.

This is the seventh time Tech has hosted the Baja SAE competition, and event planning and course construction has been underway since last summer. Tennessee Tech has held the competition at what was Tech Aqua at Center Hill Lake, behind the Averitt baseball field, and in more recent years, at the 300-plus acre Shipley Farm.

“The 2013 competition held at Shipley Farm was a huge success because of the size and available facilities there,” said team advisor Dale Wilson, a professor of mechanical engineering. “SAE said they were eager to return to Tennessee Tech, and some participants even said it was the best Baja SAE event ever.”

The event site must have the capacity to accommodate all 100 teams and their trailers. This year, more than 40 teams were put on a waiting list. Competing teams include those from India, Canada, Mexico, Egypt and more.

The Tennessee Tech team has been competing in Baja events since 1977 and holds the title of most wins by one team with 12 championships; the next closest university holds six.

Baja SAE consists of competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects. Students design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain.

Each team requires many sponsors, whether they help with a monetary donation, services such as machining or bodywork, or raw materials. The Tech team still has sponsorship opportunities available. Information about sponsorships is available at Volunteers, 18 years or older, are also still needed. If interested please contact Kris Craven at or sign up at

This event is open to the public; drone use is prohibited.

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