Our team is thankful that we have multiple dedicated members willing to put in vast amounts of their time to help educate students on robotics. With a wide variety of skills and professions, our mentors help drive the students to success.
The vision that we have for the team is to develop a sustainable program that provides the best experience to the most students. Ideally, we will develop a strong program that maintains a level of participation that allows us be successful and inspire students. Winning is nice but we really want 971 to be marked by a successful, sustainable program. If we have a have a structure in place that provides planning and training, we can proactively make the decisions about how much we can tackle in a given season and adjust the scope accordingly to be successful on whatever level we decide is appropriate. We think that student learning can be maximized by training, mentoring, and inspiration. If we can inspire students to achieve more than they thought possible, we consider that a success whether we win or not.
Wyn took over as the adult leader of the team in the Fall of 2010. She has a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a constant presence at meetings. She works closely with team leadership and helps to organize everything from meetings to purchasing. Her goal is to introduce students to science and technology in a fun and engaging way. She says: “I help them build teamwork, technical, and leadership skills that they will take with them into their future education, work, and other life experiences.”
Stephan got involved with the team when his son Marc joined in 2016 as a freshmen student. He is now mentoring the leadership team and helps to keep the team running. Most fulfilling is to see how the students grow during their time at the team in technical, communication and leadership skills. He works at a 5G Edge startup AlefEdge, where is responsible for the global operations of their network. His motto is " if you don't know it, ask it!"
Austin graduated from The University of California, Berkeley in 2011 with a dual Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering degree. He worked at Google for nearly 2 years before moving to Peloton Technology where he spent 6 years as the software architect. Austin currently works at Blue River Technology, a John Deere company, developing sprayers to target weeds using AI. He is the lead software mentor for FRC Team 971. In his spare time, Austin enjoys hiking and biking. Austin joined the team in 2004 and was team captain in 2007. Austin says and lives "there is always a better way. You've just got to find it."
Travis joined the team in 2005, was team captain his senior year in 2008 and graduated with an BSME degree from Olin College of Engineering. He now works at Auris Surgical Robotics. He mentors the team on strategy, design, CAD, mechanical engineering, tool use and much more. He enjoys mentoring because it gives him a chance to work with smart kids on interesting problems.
Jim has been working in Robotics for over 30 years-- starting in Electrical Engineering as an undergrad at Brown University and then getting a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Caltech. After teaching for several years at the University of Pennsylvania, he left to join the start-up world. He is currently the CTO for Blue River Technology, working on computer vision and machine learning for smart sprayers and tractors for John Deere. His daughters both went to Mountain View High School, but he didn't join as a mentor until 2019, after they both had graduated. He loves working with students to help them find ways to solve complex problems and learn advanced engineering skills.
Steve joined the team in 2010 when his son was a freshman on the team, and enjoys helping students develop a passion for engineering, teamwork and leadership. He is now the team photographer and plays a role in documenting the team history. Steve has a background in electrical and systems engineering, and currently works at Microsoft managing the development of hardware for the cloud (large scalable rack mounted servers and storage).
Finbarr joined the team in 2009 and has a background in electrical engineering. His sons, Nicholas and Kevin, graduated from the team in 2013. He mentors the team leadership in organization and finance and enjoys helping students develop as the next generation of engineers and leaders.
A resident of Los Altos, Scott graduated with BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. He mentors the team on electrical engineering and teaches the students to have very high standards when it comes to wiring, crimping and soldering - skills that are critical for high performing robots. Also, if they don't do it well enough Austin will make them redo it!
James joined the team as a high school student in 2010 and graduated in 2014. He got his degrees in computer science and robotics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and now works at Peloton Technology writing controls software. He has mentored the software team on 971 since graduating college in 2018.
Scott is an electrical engineer at Blue River Technology. He has extensive experience in power electronics, motor controls, analog and digital electronics as well as wire harness design. He enjoys helping the next generation of engineers to understand electrical system design.
Michael is a mentor of FRC 971 focusing on mechanical design and engineering. Michael graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 2021. He now works as an NPI manufacturing engineer at Intuitive Surgical developing minimally invasive, robotic, surgical instruments. Michael is an alumnae of FRC 1836 and in his free time enjoys sailing, playing boardgames, and swing dancing.
Sarah received her bachelors degree in software engineering and her masters in computing from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia. She currently works at Google as a software engineer on trusted computing platforms. She has been involved with FIRST since she was -4 months old, though her active involvement started 15 years ago. Sarah is a Dean's List winner and Woodie Flowersan finalist. After ten years mentoring FRC Team 3132, she joined 971 as an outreach, awards, and software mentor.