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!
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!
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!