Introducing our 2021-2022 Leadership!


Captain: Sam Dillon

Sam is a senior in chemical engineering. Over his three years on the team, he has been a part of many sub-teams including suspension, chassis, electronics and testing, business, and welding and worked on many projects from roll cage welding to seat and composite work. He has also previously served as the outreach director and chassis sub-team lead. When he’s not working on Baja, Sam is involved with a research lab on campus and has worked as a product engineer intern at Nouryon Surface Chemical. In his free time, Sam enjoys golfing, swimming, and watching sports. As team captain, Sam looks forward to working on the second ever four-wheel drive vehicle and implementing the necessary changes to the car that were observed at competition. He also hopes to create an atmosphere where everyone can learn and get excited about working on the car.


Fun Fact about Sam: He did gymnastics and diving in high school and can do the human flag!


Chief Engineer: Esmée Vernooij             

Esmée is a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in the Hoeft Technology & Management Program. As an active member of the team for three years, Esmée previously served as the drivetrain sub-team lead, helped design Margaret’s uprights in 2020, and worked on shock force testing. Outside of Baja, she has worked at Ford Motor Company, Volvo Trucks, and Doka Formworks. Esmée enjoys going to farmer’s markets, crafting, and watching reality TV in her free time. As chief engineer, she’s looking forward to building on the team’s established knowledge of four-wheel drive to “make a sick new car” for this year that will make her favorite part of Baja, the competitions, even more exciting.


Fun Fact about Esmée: She has 42 letters in her full name!


President: Haley Middendorf

Haley is a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in the Hoeft Technology & Management Program. She has been a part of the suspension sub-team and the business sub-team and has worked on part validation, various jigs, the upper A-arms, and the H-arms throughout her three years on the team. Outside of Baja, she is a part of the Society of Women Engineers and in her free time, Haley enjoys reading, baking, and hiking. She has also worked at Caterpillar in product design, at Deep Coat in testing and manufacturing, and at Ford in cost/data analytics. As president, Haley is looking forward to working with the team’s great leadership this upcoming year and bringing the team back together as things start to open up again on campus.


Fun Fact about Haley: She has visited 46 of the 50 states!


Treasurer: Kamden Damrow

Kamden is a junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in electrical and computer engineering. In his two years on the team, Kamden spent time as part of the chassis, the suspension, and the welding sub-teams where his work focused on the front tabs and front uprights of our vehicles. Outside of baja, Kamden has worked at the Kress Corporation and at Caterpillar. He is also involved with Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honors society, and enjoys playing cards in his free time. As treasurer, Kamden is looking to keep the team budget organized as the team begins its transition to normalcy post-pandemic.


Fun Fact about Kamden: He has been trekking America’s national parks!


Safety Officer: Matthew Lim

Matthew is a junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. He has been an active member of the chassis sub-team and the machining sub-team for two years and has worked on the pedal box tabs and jig. He is working on drivetrain mounting this year. On campus, he is also involved with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers competitions committee and outreach committee and in his free time, enjoys hanging out with friends and playing sports. Off campus, he is a tennis coach and interned at Ingersoll Machine Tools. His favorite part of Baja is working with others in the shop and his favorite memory comes from manufacturing season when he showed up at the shop at 3 AM just in time to get mac and cheese. As safety officer, he plans to keep track of records and make sure safety stuff is up to snuff. He’s also excited to work in the shop with everyone and meet new members!


Fun Fact about Matt: He and Esmée have the exact same birthday!


Outreach Director: Adam Zuiker

Adam is a sophomore in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. Despite having only been on the team for a year, Adam has helped design the weld tests and the differential tabs as part of the chassis subteam, along with being active in the shop during manufacturing season. Outside of Baja, Adam has worked at ComEd. On campus, he is also a part of Triangle Fraternity and the Illini Swim Club. Some of Adam’s favorite hobbies include swimming, skiing, and playing video games (he is always up for a challenge in MarioKart). As outreach director, Adam is excited to organize events to bring the team closer together and recruit a bunch of new members!


Fun Fact about Adam: He can’t see red very well so he can’t tell the difference between blue and purple and sometimes red and green!


Sub-team Leads

Chassis Lead: Madison Yang

Madison is a junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. Since her freshman year, Madison has been a part of the chassis sub-team and the testing and electronics sub-team, and she served as the outreach director her sophomore year. She has worked on a variety of projects including carbon fiber body panels, rear suspension tabs, ARB tab jigs, and the electronics box for the PCB fan control. This year, she will be designing the H-arms. On campus, Madison is a part of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and works for the MechSE department as a student communications assistant in addition to her work in the Wave Propagation and Metamaterials Lab under Prof. Katie Matlack. As chassis lead, Madison is excited to work with other members of leadership and help chassis members with their projects, especially the carbon fiber layups. Most importantly, she is looking to lead the chassis sub-team to victory in the Sub-Team Olympics!


Fun Fact about Madison: She has travelled to nine different countries!


Drivetrain Lead: Jensen Blum

Jensen is a junior in mechanical engineering. He joined the team as a sophomore but has already made a large impact as a part of the drivetrain sub-team where his projects focused on the CVT and the gearbox. Outside of Baja, he is involved with Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honors society, and enjoys playing soccer or basketball at facilities on campus in his free time. Over the summer, he interned at HydraForce, Inc. As drivetrain lead, he’s excited to work with people from all areas of the team and continue building on the implementation of our car’s four-wheel system with greater efficiency. He also really looks forward to seeing everyone on busy shop days this upcoming year!


Fun Fact about Jensen: He is halfway to being lathe certified!


Suspension Lead: Dylan Stow

Dylan is a junior in mechanical engineering. In his two years on the team, he has been part of the suspension sub-team and recently the welding subteam. As a part of these, he has worked on points validation, welded parts of the car, and been active in the shop working on many miscellaneous parts and projects. His favorite Baja memory is canoeing in Louisville with Caleb, Sasha, and Jen during downtime at competition. Outside of Baja, Dylan has worked at Caterpillar. On campus, he devotes himself solely to Baja but also enjoys hanging out with friends in his free time. As suspension lead, Dylan looks forward to teaching others but also continuing to learn. He is also excited to meet new Baja members and see returning members in-person this year!


Electronics and Testing Lead: Sasha Lozuk

Sasha is a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in electrical engineering. Throughout his many years on the team, Sasha has played a role on the drivetrain sub-team, electronics and testing sub-team, business sub-team, and welding sub-team. He has worked on many high-profile projects including the pedalbox, CVT cooling and data logging, and the CVT case and will be in charge of designing the gearbox this year. Outside of Baja, Sasha enjoys playing volleyball at the ARC, playing cards or board games with friends, and playing video games including Bioshock and Resident Evil. He interned at Medtronic for two years, first as a process development engineer and then as an R&D engineer. As electronics and testing lead, Sasha hopes to further establish the E&T sub-team and is excited to teach people about PCBs this year, which he thinks will greatly advance their projects.


Business Lead: Michael Schroeder

Michael is a junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He has been an active member of the suspension, testing and electronics, and business sub-teams throughout his three semesters on the team. Michael has worked on steering slop validation and correction, the UCA jig, regular points validation, and will be designing the rear hubs this year. Outside of Baja, Michael does research in a MechSE lab year-round where he focuses on energetic materials and combustion spectroscopy. In his free time, he likes to hang out with friends and eat (and as of recently cook) food. As business lead, Michael looks forward to getting lots of sponsors and creating a positive culture for his sub-team!


Design Leads

Fixture Lead: Jen Leong

Jen is a senior in mechanical engineering and is known as our Profiling Master. Over her three years on the team, she has been a part of the chassis sub-team, suspension sub-team, and machining sub-team and worked on projects like the lower A-arms, the steering box, and CNCing parts. She also previously served as the team’s safety officer. Outside of Baja, she has interned at WaterSaver Faucet Co., SRAM, and Medtronic. In her free time, she enjoys making rice balls and will sometimes share them with the team (and when she does, they’re always amazing). Jen’s favorite part of Baja are the people, and she especially misses the alum as her favorite Baja memory is of 2019 Drive Day, but she’s also excited to get to know new members. As fixture lead, she’s excited to help produce jigs that are easy to manufacture and even easier to use.


Fun Fact about Jen: She can carry a 230 lb man on her back! If you need proof, just ask Adam about it!


Vehicle Dynamics Lead: Saabir Mallick

Saabir is a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. He has been an important part of the suspension sub-team all three years on Baja and even served as the suspension sub-team lead last year. He has worked on tons of suspension jigs and components and will be working on the suspension points this year. Outside of Baja, Saabir enjoys playing sports and being outside. He has also interned at Continental and at a medical practice. His favorite parts of Baja are the competitions and watching the car drive. His favorite Baja memory is oval dirt track racing at drive day. As vehicle dynamics lead, Saabir is planning to work towards a more versatile car by building off of last year’s design and addressing some of the issues present. Finally, he’s excited to see everyone’s designs and projects come to life one more time!


Fun Fact about Saabir: He loves snow!



Interim Welding Lead: Sam Dillon

He’s a man of many talents!


Water-jet Lead: Cesar Lopez

Cesar is a senior in mechanical engineering. He started on the team as a sophomore and has been on the suspension sub-team for two years where he worked on steering slop and the rear uprights. This year he will be designing the differential for our car. Outside of Baja, Cesar has worked at John Deere as a product engineering intern and in his free time, he enjoys watching movies and the new Disney Marvel shows. Cesar’s favorite part of Baja is design season since it’s so collaborative, and his favorite memory is watching Margaret drive for the first time at 4 AM. Going into his second year of being water-jet lead, Cesar is looking forward to having a new team of frosh/soph team members learn about the waterjet and how the team uses it.


Fun Fact about Cesar: He can drive stick shift!


Machining Lead: Youngjin Shin

Youngjin is a senior in mechanical engineering with a minor in electrical engineering. Throughout his three years on the team, Youngjin has worked on many projects like the lower A-arms of the car as part of the suspension sub-team and brake temperature sensing as part of the electronics and testing sub-team. He has also been very involved with the drivetrain sub-team and the machining sub-team. When he’s not doing Baja, Youngjin enjoys playing soccer, working out, and gaming (and winning March Madness pools with randomly generated brackets). Off campus, he has worked at Caterpillar, and on campus, he serves as a lab assistant and engineering technician at the campus Micro-Nano Mechanical Systems Cleanroom.  As machining lead, Youngin is looking forward to manufacturing and learning new things but is most excited to make use of his CNC training this upcoming year.


Fun Fact about Youngjin: He can do the splits!

Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club Outreach

The Offroad Illini have not let the pandemic stop it from reaching out into the community. Since the outreach chair was created last year, the team has represented mechanical engineering for a Society of women engineers event and hosted a letter writing party for first responders and front-line workers. In the interest of continuing to increase our impact on the community, the Offroad Illini partnered up with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to host an event introducing high schoolers to the different disciplines of engineering and what it is like to study engineering in college. The Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club is an organization invested in creating a positive environment, generating fun, and fostering a sense of belonging among youths. Part of that mission is ensuring college and career readiness. Participants got to ask about what it is like to study different engineering majors and what to expect when studying engineering in college. Each participant was also given one-on-one time with a volunteer of their choice, so they could talk about when specifically interested them.
Maddie Yang, the outreach coordinator for Offroad Illini, said that the one-on-one time really helped volunteers connect with the participants, and that events will be more focused around that in the future. She plans to have more interactive activities in the future like guiding participants through the design process and teaching them the basics of computer aided modeling (CAD). There are also hopes of having an in-person meetup in which the participants would get to see and work on the baja car, along with an explanation of what the major components are and how they were designed. It is not uncommon for young adults to go to college and not really know what they want to do. In modeling, designing, and getting their hands dirty, participants can experience a slice of engineering for themselves, and have insight on if they would enjoy it as a career.

“it [community service] builds community within our team”                      – Maddie Yang, Outreach Coordinator


The Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club has expressed interest in continuing the partnership, and there has been talk of expanding the events to include the other car teams. In fact, there are already two more events in the books on March 23rd and April 13th, so look forward to those.

Written by: Matt Kapnick 3/6/21

Introducing our 2020-2021 Leadership!

We’re so excited to finally announce the amazing members of our team who will be leading the 2021 season. Read on to hear a little bit more about their experience on Baja and what they’re hoping to achieve this year.


Captain: Jack O’Donnell

Jack is currently a junior in mechanical engineering. He spent 2 years on the suspension sub-team, where he designed the a-arm jig for Roamer and the STA for Pollock, before becoming chassis lead this year. Outside of Baja, he interned at John Crane after freshman year, TechnipFMC after sophomore year, and will be interning in manufacturing at HP this summer. As captain, he’s most excited to lead the team in the transition from 2 wheel to 4 wheel drive. He thinks it’ll be fun to tackle all the new challenges that come with the change and can’t imagine a better team to take it on with.


Chief Engineer: Adam Stephens

Adam joined the team as a sophomore on drivetrain working on CVT cooling and quickly rose to drivetrain lead this year. As a mechanical engineering major, he interned and co-oped at Caterpillar through the school year. The high responsibility of being a sub-team lead means he spends “literally all [his] time” on Baja, but when he does get free time he likes to watch youtube videos. Like Jack, he can’t wait for the blank slate that 4 wheel drive brings next year and is excited to take on the challenge with great leadership partners.


President: Katie Peters

Katie also joined the team as a sophomore on drivetrain and acted as treasurer this year. She has mainly worked on brakes and is excited to continue that by designing custom calipers next year. She also co-ops at Caterpillar and has been for two years, although she will be switching gears and interning at Boeing this coming summer. Outside of Baja, she was the chair of recruitment for SWE for 2 years, plays intramural  soccer, and enjoys CRU, an on-campus ministry. She is also excited for 4 wheel drive and drive day, where she will get to show off Jill and meet up with old alumni.

Treasurer: Caleb Trotter

Caleb is a junior in mechanical engineering who has spent the past 3 years on suspension. He headed up the part validation project for Pollock last year and designed the anti-roll bar for Jill this year. Outside of Baja, he works as a tutor for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, is a TAM course assistant for the MechSE department, and an undergrad research assistant at the Materials Research Lab. In his free time, he weight lifts, bakes, cooks, hikes, longboards, and is hoping to get into snowboarding. He’s excited to be treasurer because it’ll give him an even closer look at how the Baja team really works. He loves the technical knowledge he’s learned on the team and thinks it’ll be really cool to see more of the business side of things.

Safety Officer: Jen Leong

Jen is a sophomore mechanical engineer who has been on suspension and manufacturing for 2 years. She worked on finding the center of gravity and points validation of Roamer, and designed Jill’s lower a-arm. She is trained on the mill and lathe and is known as the profiling lead. Outside of Baja, she likes to fence and knit (she has knitted Pollock’s chassis and is working on adding drivetrain and suspension). As safety officer, she is excited to have more say in the safety tooling we buy, more specifically she wants to buy face masks to make profiling safer.

Outreach Director: Maddie Yang

Maddie is a freshman in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. She spent this year on the chassis sub-team and worked with composites, helping do the wet layups of the body panels. On campus, she works for the MechSE communications department to write articles for the MechSE website (and actually wrote a brief one on Winter Baja!) and also participates in the Asian American Association (AAA). She’s excited to welcome new members to the team as outreach director and show everyone how cool Baja is!


Sub-team Leads

Chassis Lead: Sam Dillon

Sam is a sophomore in chemical engineering. He currently acts as outreach director and is also on the drivetrain and business sub-teams, where he’s worked on the CVT case and tuning. As a chemE, he does research in a lab focused on new methods of producing biofuels. He’s excited to be chassis lead and translate all that he’s learned on drivetrain packaging wise, especially with the switch to 4WD.

Drivetrain Lead: Esmée Vernooij

Esmée is a sophomore in mechanical engineering with a minor in the Hoeft Technology and Management program. She has been on suspension the past 2 years, performing a shock-force isolation project and designing the 2020 front uprights. She is currently co-oping at Volvo Trucks but during the school year is involved in SWE and does research with Prof. Liebenberg on engineering education. She’s excited to head up a new sub-team and can’t wait to learn all about the drivetrain components.

Suspension Lead: Saabir Mallick

Saab has been on suspension for 2 years where he designed jigs for the STA as well as steering. He also experimented with strain gauges on the electronics sub-team. Outside of Baja, he is part of the Muslim Students Association and also enjoys boxing when he gets time. He’s excited to get to learn how all the suspension components work together and gain a deeper understanding of parts he is less familiar with. And, most of all, get to design and build a completely new car.

Electronics and Testing Lead: Aleks Konstantinovic

Aleks is a junior mechanical engineering major who has spent the past 3 years on suspension, including acting as lead this year. He has interned at Tishma Technologies and Caterpillar, and will be working at Ford this coming summer. Outside of Baja he is also in Sigma Nu fraternity. He has worked on many different projects with suspension but two of his favorites are working with data acquisition, and redesigning Jill’s bent upper a-arms. The new a-arms required using the tube bender, performing proof of concept runs, modifying the current jig, and new FEA. He enjoyed how quickly the team came together to fix the problem and took advantage of all the resources available to them. He’s excited to be electronics lead and can’t wait to use the new data acquisition equipment we have available.

Business Lead: Josh Bowen

Josh is a junior in mechanical engineering who has previously been on suspension, doing a lot of profiling and steering slop analysis. He interned at Eaton in Michigan this past summer, and will be with the company again this summer in the electrical car division in Oregon. Outside of Baja he loves playing ultimate frisbee. He’s excited to take on the challenge of business lead and is hoping to organize a sponsor drive day.



Welding Lead: Cassie Kim

Cassie has also been on suspension for the past two years and was safety officer last year. She worked on Roamer and Jill’s steering slop, and designed Jill’s rear uprights. She interned at Atlas engineering group this past summer and will be interning at Ebco in summer 2020. Outside of Baja she is on the Illinois women’s rugby team. She’s excited to be welding lead and help others become better welders. Learning to TIG weld can be daunting and sometimes even frustrating due to the coordination needed to steadily control both hands and one foot, which are all doing different things. However, it’s an extremely rewarding and humbling art at the same time and she is eager to guide new welders through the ups and inevitable downs. She loves the sense of accomplishment she gets from welding for the team and wants to pass that on.

Water-jet Lead: Cesar Lopez

Cesar is a junior in mechanical engineering who was on the suspension sub-team this year. He investigated steering slop in Pollock and tire pressure testing. Outside of Baja, he will be interning at Aux Sable this coming summer. He’s excited to gain more experience using the water-jet, learning time management, and delegating responsibilities to fellow members.

Machining Lead: Danielle Helms

Danielle is a junior who has spent 2 years on drivetrain. She designed Pollock’s brake rotors and Jill’s pedal-box, as well as machined most of the components for it. Outside of Baja, she is a parallel co-op at Caterpillar and is a tech in the Innovation Studio. She is trained on the lathe and mill and is currently one of a few select people learning how to use the Haas CNC. She’s excited to be machining lead so that she can help teach underclassmen how to make cool parts.

Oh Captain my (3) Captain(s)

Despite Baja’s past leadership consisting of one administrative president and one team captain, the team has operated under a dynamic trio in the 2019-2020 season. With Baja being one of the fastest-growing engineering RSO on campus, leading the team has come with triumphs and many bumps in the road! Meet the Captains:

Switching things up from years past, Josh, Keira and Veronica decided to integrate a leadership structure of three team captains because they each felt equally qualified for the position, having sat in leadership positions before on various projects. They are each capable of providing the time necessary and the communication that their positions demand. All three can attest to the fluidity of their teamwork and the key to their relationship being the ability to listen to each other.

Each captain brings something special to the table, Keira has the administrative experience, Veronica specializes in rules compliance and chassis, while Josh supervises technical design projects and testing.

Being involved in Baja for their four years of undergrad, Josh Initially joined to gain relevant experience for a job in the engineering field. Keira was in search of a community to get involved with freshman year and thought “the car looked cool” and soon learned the professional value that the club provided. Veronica had played sports through high school and wanted to continue a side passion along her academic career. Since then, they have invested countless hours into building and fixing the car and described developing a “personal attachment” to it, driving their desire to stay involved.

As with every engineering group, the trio have experienced their fair share of challenges along the way. One unanimous issue was the effect of unforeseeable time delays in project completion. Making use of limited resources, they faced setbacks with waterjet machining time and had to deal with problems that they could not do anything about beside improvise. In regards to dealing with each other, they admit they have cooperated well and have had minimal hiccups.

Josh, Keira, and Veronica share a favorite memory in Tennessee when a gear broke and the team reluctantly faced the idea of going home. The three worked together and used their acquired problem-solving skills to get a new gear. Their efforts helped the team place 3rd overall in the maneuverability competition, giving everyone high hopes and confidence going into the California competition of 2019.

Having all 3 this season has created an amazing environment for collaboration on the team and all have left a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten.

Written by: Sean Hopp

Alumni Spotlight: Steven Michelotti!

Steven graduated from U of I in 2019 and now works for F.H. Paschen as a project engineer in Chicago. Steven credits Baja with teaching him not only problem solving skills but also “resourcefulness.” He says “[The team] prepared me for the numerous open-ended challenges I’ve seen in the work place”.

Steven’s time on the team could hardly be described better. Never one to shy away from a “Baja fix”, he was responsible for countless patch-ups and last minute design changes on both Pollock and Roamer and spent many late nights at the shop. 

These late nights are some of his favorite memories of Baja: “I’ll never forget bringing Pollock to life the night before EOH and everyone gathered in the shop”.  A member of the chassis subteam, he also became the team’s designated welder, welding the frame as well as suspension components and tabs. 

As far as advice for younger members, Steven says make friends with your teammates, because Baja “has the best people!” Keep up the good work Steven, thanks for all you did for the team!

Another Successful Winter Baja for the Books!

This past weekend the team attended Winter Baja at Michigan Technological University in upper peninsula Michigan. A staple event for us, we were able to take over 20 members who got to experience driving the car during a competition as well as the workout that is working carnage crew.

The team stayed in an airbnb outside of Houghton and had a blast exploring the lake, snowshoeing through the forest, and (most importantly) throwing branches at icicles.

Winter baja always provides a great opportunity for newer members to bond with the older members as well as learn more about quick fixes on the cars. This year we took two cars, Pollock and Roamer. Nik was elected captain of Roamer while Cassie was chosen captain of Pollock. Because we brought both cars, the two drafted their teams to compete and race against each other.

Dynamic at winter baja is very different to other competitions, consisting of one driver taking the car through a course of cones, getting out of the car, a second person eating a pickled egg, then a third strapping into the car once the egg has been eaten, and driving back over the snow. Only Pollock got to compete in dynamic, where Bella smashed it, eating the egg almost as fast as Jack last year. Mentions also go out to Danielle and Aleks who drove the event. Roamer did not make it before endurance began but Nik’s team still had a blast watching.

In an (almost) first for the Off-Road Illini, both cars finished the competition unscathed with no broken parts! Two tows were worrying for the team manning the pits but turned out to be nothing more than the cars needing an engine restart. Both cars were able to race the entire competition. A blizzard 3 hours into endurance cut the race short but luckily almost every general member got a chance to hop in the cars and drive. Some even got to plank on them. And everyone got pizza (and some new hair styles) at the banquet and awards ceremony.

The racing wasn’t done after endurance finished, however, as Aleks, Milos, and those who didn’t get a chance to drive at comp hopped in Pollock and drove around the airbnb driveway, executing some sick drifts. The team had fun exploring the house, hanging out in the hot tub, and (not saying any names) accidentally running into a snow bank and cracking a bumper.

Seniors were slightly emotional leaving the UP Sunday morning, reflecting on all the great memories of winter and were sad to leave for the last time. But the team was all excited and proud to have had another amazing weekend in Houghton.


New member spotlight: Josh Bowen!

Hear from one of our new baja members on why he joined and what he’s most excited to learn this year on the team.

Josh is a junior in mechanical engineering who just transferred to U of I this year.  He interned at Eaton over the summer and got to work with differentials and engine systems as well as other automotive parts. This sparked his interest in joining a car team and he chose Baja and the suspension sub-team because he loved the personality of our suspension lead, Aleks.

Josh hard at work during a shop day

Josh has quickly become very involved in the club, attending shop day every Saturday and even joining us at Midnight Mayhem to watch the cars compete.

“I joined Baja because I so inspired by the passion of the members I talked to at quad day. Everybody loved being on the team and it made me want to be a part of it.”

What he’s most excited for this year?  “I can’t wait to see the full car come together and see all the parts we’ve been designing come to life”

We’re so excited to have you as part of the team this year Josh and can’t wait to see what you do!

Alumni Spotlight

We checked in with one of our recent alumni to see what he’s up to since graduation

Adam Schmitt , 2018-2019 Captain

Where do you currently work/what do you currently do?

I work at Northrop Grumman, currently doing a 3 year rotational program. My first rotation is in RF (radio frequency) Systems Engineering

What did you do on Baja?

I collected a ton of t-shirts (and a bucket hat which I proudly wear every chance I get), picked out the derpy knives, occasionally broke things, and DJ’d during shop days. And somewhere in there I was captain for a year.

How has Baja helped you in your career?

Baja helped me learn how to handle when things go wrong. It’s important to maintain a level head and not forget your problem solving skills in ambiguous or stressful situations. A whole lot of the real world is not necessarily knowing the right answers, but knowing which questions to ask to get there – and baja definitely left me scratching my head trying to get to the root of the cause of a problem more than once. 

What are you excited to see this year?

I’m excited to see the 4WD designs this year! I’m also looking forward to the hype competition recap videos that the team always puts together, you guys do an awesome job with those!