Baja Team

The Baja Team is a group of undergraduate students that attend the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and who share an interest in building and racing off-road vehicles.

2016-2017 Officers

Randy Moore
Student President

Adam Ridilla
Student Vice President

Will Franicola
Student Treasure

Eric Hood
Student Secretary

Roelof deVries
Faculty Advisor

148 Blackington Hall
Division of Mechanical Engineering


There are 60 members in the club consisting primarily of mechanical engineering students. The Baja Team designs and builds off-road vehicle to compete in Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Mini BAJA Collegiate Design competitions each year. 


If you are interested in helping this Real World learning experience, access the Pitt-Johnstown Baja Team sponsorship packet >


Every year, the SAE hosts three international competitions in the United States and a few more internationally. Baja Teams from around the world make the journey to these events occurring in the spring and early summer. About 100 teams participate in each competition in which vehicles are put to the ultimate test in both dynamic and static events. Scores are combined and totaled to determine the overall winner.

The static events include design reports, cost reports, and sales presentations of the vehicle. The dynamic events consist of four of the following, depending on the host:

  • suspension and traction course
  • maneuverability course
  • acceleration
  • hill climb
  • rock crawl
  • sled pull

These events are timed and the teams are compared based on the times.

The last event is four-hour endurance - which happens on the final day - in which all the teams race against each other to get the most laps possible. 

baja vehicle