YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A student engineering team at Youngstown State University is preparing to take their work to the national level.
The Penguin Baja Racing Team designs, builds and competes with an all-terrain vehicle every year. It’s an international collegiate student engineering design competition with 250 teams from universities across the world.
The Baja Racing Team is competing in the U.S. series with a dune buggy they built.
In May, they’ll be competing in a competition in Wisconsin which means 10 of the seniors will be missing graduation to compete.
“For the seniors, this has been our life’s work for an entire year. It’s really brought us together. There’s been a lot of difficulties but also a lot of successes, so for us, it’s absolutely worth it to see it all the way through,” said Katie Chludzinski, the YSU Penguin Baja Racing team’s captain.
“We’ve worked so hard on this all year long, and we’re really excited to bring our college career to an end with showing the rest of the world what Youngstown’s all about,” said team captain Jared Bryaly.
At the end of the racing season last year, they finished in ninth place, breaking into the elite top 10 internationally. This year, they’re looking to break into that top five. Students design the dune buggy, build it and test it for high performance.
“This is the epitome of engineering in action. They go through a complete design process so this is not garage engineering. This is high-level engineering,” said Hazel Marie, program coordinator and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering at YSU.
The team will also be competing with their dune buggy in Washington and Ohio, but they need the community’s help to travel to their competitions.
In order to get the entire team out west, they’re holding a spaghetti dinner this Friday at Boardman Park. They’re hoping to raise enough funds to cover flights, hotels and any other costs that may come up.
“In order to do that, we work with a lot of manufacturing companies in this area, but even after we get all the money from them, we still need more so that we can get all the way out west with our huge team,” said Landon Morucci, a team member.
The spaghetti dinner will run from 4-8 p.m. Friday in the Rotary and Stambaugh rooms at Boardman Park. Tickets are $10 at the door.
There will also be raffles, cookies and the option to take your food to go.