Engineered for the Drive

Students put their engineering skills to the test in off-road vehicle challenge

Students at Dunwoody College of Technology, along with several faculty members, traveled to the California desert to put their engineering, design, and fabrication skills to the test in the 2024 Baja SAE Challenge.

The competition challenges engineering students to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain and in some competitions, water. Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of an all-weather, rugged, single-seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the nonprofessional weekend off-road enthusiast.

The team of students, which includes several who didn’t make the trip, have been building the vehicle from the ground up since the beginning of the school year.

More than 60 teams from colleges and universities across the country competed in the annual event, which in addition to an endurance race, included Acceleration, Maneuverability, Suspension & Traction Challenges.

“During the suspension and traction challenge the car dipped hard into one of the moguls and broke several front suspension components,” said E.J. Daigle, Academic Dean. “The vehicle was towed back to the pits with about five hours to make eight hours of repairs. Watching the teamwork displayed by this group was incredible. In true Dunwoody form, they worked together to disassemble the front end, fabricate two new A-arms and one new frame member, bleed brakes, aligned wheels, and completely reassembled the front end. The team made it through inspection with 15 minutes to spare and were gridded #37 for the endurance race on Sunday.”


Dunwoody offers four-year, Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering.

Coursework is project-integrated and experienced through hands-on creation and problem-solving. Unlike traditional engineering programs, at Dunwoody your engineering education begins your first semester.

Students benefit from small-class sizes, both in their major and general education classes, and all classes are taught by experienced, industry-connected faculty. Students are provided a laptop loaded with industry-standard software and tools, and have access to state-of-the-industry labs, shops, and maker spaces.

For more information about the School of Engineering, visit


Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. Having provided hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 individuals, Dunwoody is the college for experimenters and makers, a place where the curious and the confident learn by doing. Located in Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers a unique campus experience in dedicated labs, studios, and shops that treats students like future professionals from day one. With certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors – including engineering, robotics, design and other STEM-related fields – Dunwoody challenges students to come determined and graduate destined.