Early Days

Columbia alumni and former CU SAE member Pedro Guillen reports:

The club was started by the Great Steven Wang in 1997. He alone built the 1st cage/chassis in the summer of 1998. He spent all summer in the back of the Wind Tunnel lab with his welder and the tubing. After his graduation, Wang worked on the 2001 Ford Explorer. Later on he worked in the Ford Design Studio on the Ford Focus and Fiesta. His designs include wheels, roof racks and other personalization components.

Pedro also is currently employed by Ford. So as you can see, we have a history of automotive industry success stories.

In the beginning, the SAE shared space with the Solar Splash team on the second floor of Mudd. The team purchased two engine blocks from a junkyard and stockpiled many essential supplies and materials. Design efforts included building a mechanical fuel injection system, beginning work on a fiberglass body, and designing a chassis. The major achievement in the 1990s was that the club was formed and ideas for design and hopes of attending the competition were born.