Team Xtreme takes a tough road test

Two Dubai-based engineering students, Vidur Khurana and Praveen Bansal, are set to lead a team representing the Middle East to one of the world’s most prestigious engineering design competitions.


Muaz Shabandri

Published: Sun 7 Nov 2010, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:55 PM

Which is the SAE Baja Challenge, in Illinois next June.

The team of ten students from Bits Pilani Dubai, called Team Xtreme, will build an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) from scratch. In a true test of engineering skills, their design will be pitted against 115 other student teams from around the world.

“We are spending six to eight hours everyday after college on this project. It’s an absolute real life scenario where we work on building a real ATV,” says Vidur, Team Xtreme’s crew chief.

The annual competition, organised by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE), challenges engineering students to take skills learned in the classroom and apply them in designing and building a competitive racing chassis.

“It is one of the most prestigious competitions any engineering student dreams to participate in and for us it’s an exciting challenge.

“The real test remains in finishing the design and building the ATV in time for the competition,” adds Vidur.

Each team’s goal is to design and build a prototype of a rugged, single-seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the non-professional weekend off-road enthusiast.

The vehicle must be safe, easily transportable, easily maintainable and fun to drive.

With six months to the competition, the team members are working hard to keep pace with the deadline.

“We’ve gone through a lot of books and case studies to learn about the various difficulties and engineering problems that the team might face.

“It’s all about working within the rules to come out with the best ATV,” says Praveen Bansal, one of the students working on the project.

Reliability, speed and a consistent drive will be put to test in June 2011 when the 10-member team will fly to US for a final test.

Their design will be put through the paces in a grueling four-hour endurance race along an exceptionally rough, dusty and difficult dirt course that would test their limited driving skills to an absolute extreme.

Managing their regular studies while working on the project, the team is on the lookout for sponsors to fund their designs.

“Our designs are ready and right now our real challenge is to find sponsors to pay for the costs.

“Working under constraints, it’s all about how well we are able to build the ATV,” adds Praveen who also looks after the team’s marketing initiatives.

The team unveiled their ATV design at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday.

Bits Pilani Dubai also hosts a student chapter of SAE where members can refer journals and reference material provided by the society.

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