On the outside, Automotive Technology Professor Trent Lindbloom may seem as though he's got everything under control.
But after spending the good part of a year organizing what may be the largest event in Pittsburg State's history - as well as writing a grant, teaching classes, mentoring students, and successfully going up for tenure - no one could blame him if he spends a long summer on vacation.
"There's been a lot on my plate," said Lindbloom, who along with fellow auto tech professor Bob Schroer has been organizing a mountain of details for the 2011 SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Baja Kansas competition, to be held May 26-29 on PSU property just off Rouse and Centennial in Pittsburg. "But it's been a rewarding year. This competition is an important event for Pittsburg State students as well as the community."
It's the first time in 10 years a Baja competition has been held in the state of Kansas, and the economic benefits it will bring to the Southeast Kansas region have excited business owners, university administrators, as well as city leaders. PSU's centrally located position in the country has attracted a long list of teams from across the nation as well as several different countries - 100 different teams will be here to compete in the areas of vehicle design, cost analysis, as well as field tests and the famous four-hour endurance race.
But the biggest winners, said Lindbloom, are the students. Future professionals from all areas of the College of Technology - from graphics and imaging to construction management to engineering technology - have found a role in the event. And with plans to stream the competition live on the PSU website, Lindbloom is hoping it not only strengthens the education of current students, but serves as a major recruiting tool, as well.
"We are very excited to be hosting this competition at PSU," he said. "It's going to be something our students never forget."