Here at Student Space Systems, we want to make sure that our leadership reflects the wants and needs of the general membership as closely as possible. To accomplish this, the Executive Board is elected directly by the General Members at the end of each year by a process of Single Transferable Vote.
Take a few minutes to meet the Board Members of Student Space Systems!
Technical President/Internal Director: Caitlin BenVau
Caitlin BenVau is a junior in Mechanical Engineering. She joined Student Space Systems late in her freshman year and worked on liquid V1 propellant feed systems before taking over second semester her sophomore year. During her time as Internal Director, she hopes to increase member retention, better organize the club's resources, and make all members feel involved with the work they do. In her free time she likes to rock climb, exercise, working on a co-op for Caterpillar, and catch up on sleep.
Administrative President: Nick Schwengler
Nick Schwengler is a junior in Aerospace Engineering. He has been a member of Student Space Systems since his freshman year. He has worked a number of roles within the club, both administrative and technical, including Project Manager of V1 Engine Test Stand, Plumbing and Valves team member, and External Director.
His involvement in SSS has led to him receiving engineering internships at GE Aviation and Northrop Grumman.
Nick was drawn to SSS because of the club’s ambitious goals and the unique opportunities that members can gain from involvement in the club. He is excited to help lead the club towards continued success and to ensure that all members can have a meaningful impact on the club.
Director of Avionics: Luke Smith
Luke is a Senior pursuing a BS in Computer Science. He has been an active member in the Avionics department for two years, and he has served as Project Manager for the Turbo Electronics team. Luke was drawn to SSS because of the unique perspective members gain in such an ambitious, interdisciplinary atmosphere. His plans to grow the Avionics department involve fostering an ideal team environment, setting clear goals, and managing the limited time of members efficiently. While he is not doing homework or projects in SSS, Luke enjoys playing drums in his band, finding new trails to hike, and cooking.
Director of Propulsion: Miles Mckaig
Miles is a Junior studying Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics. He joined SSS in the fall of his Freshman year and has since lead the V2 Injector team. He now oversees the construction and testing of the Liquid V1 rocket engine, and the development of the Liquid V2 rocket engine. Recently, he has interned at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, refining models used for simulations of the SLS Main Propulsion System. In his free time, Miles enjoys gaming, writing music, and watching copious amounts of Star Trek. His goals for the next year include improving new member training and retention, so the department can better prepare members for their work in the club.
Director of Structures: Griffin Colvin
Griffin is a senior studying Aerospace Engineering, He joined Student Space Systems in the spring of his freshman year and led the Engine Integration team under the Structures department. He joined SSS to gain experience in a variety of projects and develop the teamwork and leadership skills necessary to build the technology for rocketry. His plans for the Structures department involve a more rapid rate of development and an emphasis on creating a platform for prototyping. Outside of academics, Griffin enjoys volunteering, tutoring, and playing golf.
Director of Research and Development: Varun Bhargava
Varun Bhargava is a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering, with a minor in Computer Science. He joined Student Space Systems in the first few days of his freshman year due to SSS being the only club on campus dealing with high-powered rocketry, a field of aerospace that has captured his imagination for years. During his freshman year, Varun worked within the Structure's Department, in which he was a Project Manager for actuating fins technology, a research and development project with 5 members. His positive experience in both actuating fins and SSS as whole inspired him to join the research and development department as its director, a role through which he hopes to reintroduce competitions to SSS, diversify projects for greater access to all types of students, and streamline research and development efforts.
External Director: Josh Super
Joshua Super is a Junior in Aerospace Engineering minoring in Electrical Engineering. Josh joined SSS freshman year working on CO2 pneumatics and elctric turbopump electronics. Josh served as the director of the Research and Developement department his sophomore year. He now serves as External Director dealing with club and corporate outreach as well as working on turbopump design. His passion lies in aerospace engineering but in his free time he enjoys cooking, rock-climbing and journaling.
Safety Director: Lisa Rosov
Lisa Rosov is a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering. She was immediately drawn to SSS at the beginning of her freshman year because of all of the complex technical projects and industry skills that members could gain. She worked in propulsion on the cooling systems team where she researched and modeled a cooling system for SSS’s liquid V2 rocket.
In her free time, Lisa enjoys reading old books, playing sports like tennis and fencing, and visiting parks in the Urbana-Champaign area. She interned at GE Aviation over the summer, and hopes to bring new skills and resources back with her to SSS. Lisa is excited to ensure the safety of both Student Space Systems members and its projects over the coming year.
Treasurer: Jacob Crow
Jacob is currently a sophomore studying aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois. He has been a part of SSS since his first semester, been a part of LV2 Fuels and Plumbing and was the treasurer for the last semester. This year, he plans to continue the financial success of the club. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching soccer, working out and traveling.
Board Secretary: Jack Kramer
Jack Kramer is a Freshman in Aerospace Engineering who joined Student Space Systems this year. He currently works as Secretary and as a member of the Integration team. Jack became interested in SSS after he learned of the club and it's goals on quad day. Jack is eager to help the club and continue it's success into the future.