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Judges scrutinize Baja entries

May 27, 2011 12:00AM

Jeff Vondemkamp sits behind the wheel of the Pitt State Baja SAE Kansas entry Friday as judges check it over carefully for safety.

Each of the Baja SAE Kansas teams put its entry into an automotive version of speed dating Friday in hopes that the judges might just fall in love with their car.

Just 30 minutes was allotted for the judging of each car. The shrill blast of a whistle signaled it was time for judges to rotate amongst entries, which were judged in groups of eight.

The judges peppered the students with questions at each stop.

"They were looking for everything from ergonomics to uniqueness of design," said Jeff Vondemkamp, a senior member of the Pitt State team from Seneca, Kan.

"They asked us to explain why we used certain materials or why we settled on a certain design," said Daniel Clugston, Columbus, Kan., another veteran member of the PSU team.

Clugston said some of the big engineering schools are really strong in the design portion of the competition.

"For some of the big engineering schools, this is a senior capstone project," Clugston said.

PSU shows its strength, he said, in the dynamic events, including the endurance race on Sunday.

Visit the PSU website and click on the Baja link for a complete list of events on Saturday and Sunday.

©2011 Pittsburg State University