A Clarkson Mosaic - page 521

Mini-Baja Car.
Clarkson's Mini-Baja all-terrain vehicle, designed and constructed by students,
took first place (out of 55) in competition in Orlando, Florida, on May 15, 1993. This three-day
event was sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to encourage students to
design, build, and test an all-terrain vehicle suitable for mass production at a price under
$1,800. Each day of the competition posed a different challenge, with the winning entry being
the vehicle with the most cumulative point total.
Upon its return from Florida, the car's flotation system was removed and the suspension
raised as it prepared for the Mid-West Mini-Baja race. This was Clarkson's first appearance in
the mid-west. Among the 72 vehicles entered, Clarkson's team finished third overall, and
because of a top-ten finish in the service-ability event, it also qualified for a pit-crew
competition sponsored by Snap-On Tools. Scott Statler '93 and Jonathan Boyer '93, who
represented the team, set a new world's record for a pit crew.
Clarkson's Mini-Indy at the SAE competition for Formula One race cars, took first place
for sportsmanship on May 22, but the vehicle placed 23 out of 75 in the race itself.
In 1994, the car finished in third place at the event held north of Montreal at Mont
Saint-Sauveur over the Memorial Day weekend. The team, headed by ME junior Jonathan
Boyer, finished fourth in design on the first day, moved into third at the end of performance
evaluations on the second day, despite having to replace a failed transmission between events.
VPI and Central Florida University finished 1, 2.
• Day One. The cars were evaluated on design, engineering analysis, design documentation, and
innovations in safety. Clarkson's car received a perfect score for design, and broke the previous point
record for innovations in safety.
• Day Two. The cars were involved in field tests that included a sled pull, mud bog, land
maneuverability, acceleration, top speed, and braking. Here, Clarkson won first place in the sled pull
and second in the mud bog event.
• Day Three. This competition was a different matter. It called for a field test and water
maneuverability followed by the main event: a three-hour endurance race over pitted dirt roads, sand,
logs, mud, swamp, and water.
Clarkson's car, trailing smoke and losing power, headed for the pit area for
repairs after the first lap, but soon was back in the race. Then, two hours
into the race, as the car crossed Lake Lee, the throttle cable broke. Driver
Matt Johnson '93 held both ends of the steering cable with his hands and
steered with his feet until he got the car to shore. There, Mike Obleman '93
wired the cable in the full throttle position, allowing the car to finish the
race, and to outpoint the field for the three-day total.
High School Teachers.
For the fifth year, Clarkson recognized five high school teachers after
nomination by Clarkson graduating seniors as worthy of receiving the Clarkson University
Inspirational High School Teaching Award. Honored this year were John Duffner, Hamburg
Senior High School, Hamburg, N.Y.; Jon Gerlach, Leroy Central School, Leroy, N.Y.; Frank
Griffin, Joseph Foran High School, Milford, Conn.; James Guyette, Moriah Central School,
Port Henry, N.Y.; and David Shaffer, New Milford High School, New Milford, Conn. Each of
the five attended the Commencement exercises as guests of the University.
Four VPs.
"To control costs and increase quality," was the rationale of restructuring the school
"as a way to implement a long-range plan," announced Vice President R. Thomas Williamson.
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