YPSILANTI – To the lay person, the car appears to be simply a welded metal skeleton, with powerful springs near the axles and tires. But, to a number of Eastern Michigan University students and faculty, the car is an evolving work of art, capable of absorbing the singular punishment of upcoming Baja-Car type races.
The car’s resilience and ability to navigate the bumps and bruises of such an event come courtesy of Link Engineering, a company that designs and manufactures precision test equipment, and provides comprehensive testing services. The company is headquartered in Plymouth, with test laboratories and support facilities throughout the world.
The students had brought the components to Link Engineering, which then performed the full suspension work for free.
A visit by Roy and Adam Link to the CET
Roy Link, chairman and chief executive officer, and his youngest son, Adam, the company’s technical director, visited the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) this month to view the college’s new facilities at Sill Hall along with the Baja Car.
Roy Link started the company in the early 1980s, and passionately worked to elevate the company from its humble roots to the multi-national organization it is today. The company is now a world leader in specialty equipment and testing innovation.
Demonstrating the car to the Links were professor Andrew Mansfield and EMU mechanical engineering students Emmanuel Akor, Zachary Lowery and Pete Subudom, members of the Baja Car Club and the chief engineers and builders of the vehicle.
“Link Engineering has and will continue to be an important partner to the EMU Baja Club,” Mansfield said. “By providing their expertise and resources, Link Engineering is helping to build a racing program that will be an important part of the new College of Engineering and Technology.
“We look forward to building other similar relationships across the automotive industry to grow our educational, research, and club activities on campus.”
Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Engineering, showed the Links around the new, shining facilities in Sill Hall, which is undergoing a $40 million renovation.
An exciting Baja Car competition
The tour included stops in various labs, including the centerpiece of the visit, the college’s auto lab, which also houses an autonomous vehicle project and will be the site of many future student collaborations.
Students involved in the Baja project develop a series of well-rounded engineering skills, Qatu said, adding that “Students get a sense of true industry pressure” in building the car under a production deadline with a major event on the horizon.
The club will take the car to Louisville in May to compete in a national Baja Car event. To ensure a fair competition, each car must use the same kind of engine; thus the skills of the students play out in other design aspects of the car.
“We’re very excited about that competition,” Dean Qatu said.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.