UPEI students building a Baja-style, small off-road vehicle are looking for $30,000 in sponsorships and donations to help with its first entry in the 2016 Baja SAE Competition.

The competition challenges students to design, build, and market the vehicle that is then judged on different criteria in two segments — the static portion and the dynamic portion. The first consists of getting points on design, cost, and a sales presentation. Then the vehicle's performance undergoes field tests, including a four-hour endurance race for more points.

The competition encourages skill development in problem-solving, project management, and teamwork.

"We have an enthusiastic team and are confident that we will be competitive in our inaugural year," said Andrew Simmons, a student member of the UPEI Baja SAE team.

"There are a lot of bright, creative minds on our team and we are fortunate to have the full support of our faculty in this venture."

Simmons said team is made up students from UPEI's new School of Sustainable Design Engineering and other faculties.

The team operates in small groups designing parts of the vehicle which will be integrated into the overall design, said supervisor Jeff Bowser, a design technician in the School of Sustainable Design Engineering.

"The students have taken a lot of initiative in this project, and the design is developing rapidly," said Bowser.

The $30,000 is needed to cover the design of the vehicle, registration and travel to the competition in Rochester, N.Y.