Speeding to a Baja championship
Griffin Joslin was one of the only drivers able to keep his Baja car upright, maneuvering over the twisting course of rail road ties, boulders, and a precarious cement-block trench during Baja SAE Rochester.
RIT has hosted SAE’s international collegiate design challenge seven times, but the summer of 2022 was the first time the team raised the big trophy. As proud as Joslin was in crushing the course and besting 100 national and international collegiate race teams, he also was pleased with his artistic contributions.
Along with being a driver in the suspension and endurance events, Joslin, who graduated in May with a degree in graphic design, served as art director. Using his design skills, he rebranded the team—from RIOT Racing to RIT Baja Racing—giving both the car and team a fresh look from its clothing and banners to chassis designs.
“I started on the team in my first year and stayed because of the connections to other majors,” said Joslin about the team based in the College of Engineering Technology but includes students from all of RIT’s colleges. “This is something not usually done at an art school, and the friends that I’ve made at RIT, most of them are on this team.”
Joslin started with the Baja aerodynamics group and moved through the other vehicle systems—learning first, then mentoring new teammates.
“This is one of the ways we pass on knowledge,” he said.
He earned a place on the team’s executive committee, first as secretary, then he was voted in as team manager in 2020. This leadership position coordinates team travel logistics, finances, and support needed for the technical design and system inspections required before cars even take the field.
RIT Baja teams have competed for more than 30 years, and alumni are successful engineers, business leaders, and designers. Joslin is now part of that group.
Shortly after the Baja event, he took his design skills and project management abilities to Joele Frank in New York City, one of the top 20 public relations firms in the U.S., according to Observer Media.
“I think working with a team of engineers has taught me more about applying my designs to the real world than any art class I could have taken here,” he said. “Working with people who have different skills and ways of working has taught me how to handle tighter deadlines and difficult challenges at my new job.”