Reasons for Adoption – Oregon Institute of Technology


Background Context

1. The BAJA SAE team from the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Klamath Falls takes part a single competition per year (the BAJA SAE West competition, which is usually held in Oregon or California).
2. The Formula SAE team also takes part a single competition per year (the one in Lincoln NE).
3. In the past, the Formula and BAJA teams used to maintain handwritten notebooks.


Experience at the BAJA SAE Competition in Gorman CA (April 27-30 ’17)

1. The BAJA team found it challenging to explain to the design judges, in the limited time provided, what was so special about the design of the subsystems.

  • The team had hard time communicating their analysis in a clear and concise fashion.
  • Some of their finite element analysis (FEA) files may have been missing from their progress report.

2. The BAJA team ran into problems that could have been prevented relatively easily back at Klamath Falls, by checking their vehicle against the judges score sheet.

  • They experienced problems related to a leaking gas tank.
  • They tried to combat it by applying three rolls of tape.
  • The team believed it could have passed tech inspection more easily, if the team had checked their vehicle against the score sheet of the design judges, prior to heading for competition.


Aspect of Ecosystem the BAJA SAE Team Found Most Useful

1. The BAJA team was quite encouraged to see all the FEA files linked into the Calculations & Analysis tab of the Ecosystem.

  • The team liked the fact that the images imported were included in the exported reports.
  • This would facilitate clear, concise and effective presentation of their risk analysis to the design judges.
  • The students looked at the Ecosystem as a tool that could help them effectively convey, in the x min that they had inside the tent with the judges, what was great about their subsystem designs.

2. The BAJA SAE team liked the Gate Review tab of the Ecosystem.

  • The team envisioned entering the items to be checked by the judges into the Gate Review tab.
  • The participating teams would know in advance what the judges would be looking for.
  • By verifying all the items, prior to heading for competition, the team expected less hassle with passing tech inspection, once on site.


Experience at the Formula SAE Competition in Lincoln NE (June 22-24 ’17)

1. The Formula team performed below expectations, largely due to lack of documentation, combined with absence of key personnel.
2. The lead for suspension and frame contacted the faculty adviser, early in the morning on the day when the team was set to leave for Lincoln, and told the adviser he could not go.
3. This left the faculty adviser in tough situation, because the suspension and frame systems had not been fully documented, and there was nobody to step in, esp. not on such a short notice.
4. The faculty adviser thought the Formula team would have made the design finals, if this had not come up.


Aspect of Ecosystem the Formula Team Found Most Useful

1. The faculty adviser greatly valued the Ecosystem facilities supporting design documentation and knowledge transfer.

  • The faculty adviser thought this had happened to other teams as well.
  • Teams tended not to document their designs well enough.
  • If the race car breaks down, what are the students supposed to do?
  • The main people may already have graduated.
  • One cannot always count on the original designers still being around.

2. The faculty adviser believes the Ecosystem will provide huge help to next year’s teams.

  • The Ecosystem will provide teams with access to the reference designs used in the past.
  • The Ecosystem helps the students capture the requirements and meet the rules for the subsystems.

3. The faculty adviser thinks the Ecosystem can provide an effective way for defending the marketing presentation based on the Formula SAE rulebook.


Plan for  2017 – 2018

1. Students don’t have a choice: They are required to use the Ecosystem SW.

  • The faculty adviser has told his students to use the Ecosystem from Day 1.

2. We have arranged things such that there is no risk of SW inconsistency problems during the academic year.

  • Everyone is using use same version.
  • The students have received training on the Ecosystem 1.09 SW.
  • There are no SW updated expected.

3. The Formula and BAJA teams have 3 years of design data to manage through the Ecosystem.

  • They may not do everything this year.
  • They may add more next year.





The BAJA SAE team at OIT Klamath Falls using the Ecosystem 1.09 SW during an Oct. 21 ’17 project planning meeting.