Momentum - November 2020 - 6

STUDENT GENERATION

Team photo taken
with MBR31 at its
unveiling
ceremony.
began getting our test track ready. Local team alumni even
paid us a surprise visit and were excited to see the car drive.
When the vehicle took off around the track for the first time,
front wheels spinning under power, the crowd let out a cheer.
We had done it-we had a working 4WD Baja SAE car-at least
until the front lower control arm failed later in the day.
Overall, the 4WD system performed quite well during the
three hours of hitting jumps, bouncing over logs, and railing
around corners. But the season was cut short before we could
continue real-world testing and truly begin validating the car.

VIRTUAL COMPETITION
The challenge of 4WD paled in comparison to the next
challenge that we, and the whole world, were faced with. As
the COVID-19 pandemic shut down one state after another, our
team scattered across the country to be with our loved ones.
We lamented the cancellation of competitions, but were
relieved to be safe at home. We all thought this was the end of
our 2020 season, and for our graduating seniors, the end of
their time in Baja.
As such, when SAE announced that it would hold three
virtual competitions in lieu of on-track events, we were eager
to jump on the opportunity. While we wouldn't be able to
compete in dynamic events with our vehicle, we still had the
chance to present our design work and compete against fellow
engineers from around the world. We had taken on the
challenge of 4WD and didn't plan on shying away from the
virtual competitions. We would treat them as regular race days.
At first, the change to the new format for design
presentation was jarring. Losing the face-to-face judge
interactions and facing a new time limit forced us to restructure
the presentation format that we'd been iterating on for years.
We spent many long nights preparing our slides, reviewing our
analysis, and refining our testing plans to chronicle our team's
story in a way that would capture the interest of the judges.
When the virtual competition day finally arrived, we ran
through our presentation one last time-then it was showtime.

6 November 2020

The judges' questions were insightful and there were a few
moments of panic, but the team made it through the same way
we had all season-together.
Another key component of the virtual competition was the
sales event, where we persuaded judges representing a
hypothetical company to invest in our vehicle design and sales.
After two 4th place sales finishes in the 2019 season, we were
ever so close to finally getting a podium. As sales lead, I
assembled a team in January, a month earlier than usual, and
we continued to work remotely through quarantine. We
implemented judges' feedback from the prior year and
cultivated a core brand identity that was absent from the old
presentation. We also rehearsed our sales pitch in front of the
rest of the team, and other members barraged us with possible
questions that the judges might ask. In the end, these efforts
paid off, resulting in two wins and a 2nd place podium-
Michigan Baja Racing's best finish ever in the sales event.

SUMMARY
All of this hard work culminated in placing 1st Overall at Baja
SAE Arizona, Baja SAE Louisville, and Baja SAE Illinois. While
we wish that we were able to compete in person, we applaud
SAE for facilitating a safe virtual competition allowing us a
chance to showcase our work. We end this season with many
new ideas and improvements in mind for our 4WD system, and
I look forward to getting back on the racetrack next spring. n

Devin Ardeshna (top), a senior in mechanical engineering
at the University of Michigan, co-wrote this article for
Momentum. He was the CVT Lead in the 2019-2020
season and is currently Manufacturing Director.
Co-writer Justin Osborn (bottom), a junior in mechanical
engineering at the University of Michigan, was the Brakes
System and Sales Lead for the 2019-2020 season and is
the current Suspension Kinematics Lead.

MOMENTUM



Momentum - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - November 2020

Momentum - November 2020
Questioning the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliche
BENEFITS U
Michigan Baja Racing goes 4WD
A testimony to experiential learning
One-on-One Liam MacGillivray
Talking chassis
BRIEFS
2021 ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first U.S.-market dedicated EV
UX designers and “engineering chefs” cook up unique user interfaces
SAE 101: student engagement
Be an optimist and an opportunist
Dossier: Madeline Corrigan of Northwestern University
Momentum - November 2020 - Momentum - November 2020
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - November 2020 - 1
Momentum - November 2020 - Questioning the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliche
Momentum - November 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - November 2020 - Michigan Baja Racing goes 4WD
Momentum - November 2020 - 5
Momentum - November 2020 - 6
Momentum - November 2020 - A testimony to experiential learning
Momentum - November 2020 - 8
Momentum - November 2020 - 9
Momentum - November 2020 - One-on-One Liam MacGillivray
Momentum - November 2020 - 11
Momentum - November 2020 - Talking chassis
Momentum - November 2020 - 13
Momentum - November 2020 - 14
Momentum - November 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - November 2020 - 2021 ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first U.S.-market dedicated EV
Momentum - November 2020 - UX designers and “engineering chefs” cook up unique user interfaces
Momentum - November 2020 - SAE 101: student engagement
Momentum - November 2020 - Be an optimist and an opportunist
Momentum - November 2020 - Dossier: Madeline Corrigan of Northwestern University
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover4
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