Mechanical Engineering Professor Lesley Wright Honored with 2015 SAE International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award

February 26, 2015
Lesley Wright

Lesley Wright, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor University's School of Engineering and Computer Science (Matthew Minard, Baylor Photography)

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia
Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Feb. 26, 2015) – Lesley Wright, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor University's School of Engineering and Computer Science, was honored with the 2015 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award for her work as faculty adviser for Baylor Baja.

Each year, the Baylor Baja team constructs a Baja car and competes against national and international teams in events that gauge endurance and design. Wright has been dedicated to helping Baylor engineering students gain real-world experience through designing and building off-road vehicles since 2009.

"I consider it a real blessing to have the opportunity to work with young men and women every day, and I enjoy interacting with the students both in and out of the classroom," said Wright. "I am constantly looking for opportunities to enhance their academic experience, so they are better prepared to enter the workforce."

The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award is named after the former SAE International president, who believed that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers.

"Bringing the Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series to Baylor has provided our students with the unique opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to design and build an off-road vehicle while maintaining budgets, working with vendors and soliciting sponsorship opportunities," Wright said. "The Waco community has really supported the students and the project, and it is great to watch the students mature into young professionals."


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


With more than 10 percent of Baylor University's freshman class pursuing major courses of study in the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), the focus remains on preparing graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian world view. ECS majors include bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering, and mechanical engineering. Among ECS graduate programs are Master of Science degrees in all disciplines, a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, and several dual degree programs. The Teal Residential College for Engineering and Computer Science, in which students and faculty live, fosters the pursuit of wisdom, academic excellence, and meaningful relationships for the development of diverse, innovative leaders.