Meet the Mentors

Our mentors & administration help educate students and keep the team organized. All mentors have some kind of background in the field of which they lead.

Solomon Shurge Head/Mechanical Mentor I am the Head Coach for the 2016-2017 season. This is my 11th season in FIRST & FRC, my 8th as a mentor, and my 3rd with FRC 1076 - Pi Hi Samurai. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering and a Program in Entrepreneurship. During my time at Michigan, I was a Trombone in the Michigan Marching Band for 5 years and Michigan Hockey Band for 4 years, and continued to mentor my high school team, FRC 313, until I joined FRC 1076. I am currently an Industrial Engineer for a Tier 2 Auto Supplier. FIRST is so awesome (exciting, engaging, surprising, competitive, inspiring), that I just can't help but come back year after year, and am excited to see what new heights our team can reach.

Solomon Shurge
Head/Mechanical Mentor

I am the Head Coach for the 2016-2017 season. This is my 11th season in FIRST & FRC, my 8th as a mentor, and my 3rd with FRC 1076 - Pi Hi Samurai. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering and a Program in Entrepreneurship. During my time at Michigan, I was a Trombone in the Michigan Marching Band for 5 years and Michigan Hockey Band for 4 years, and continued to mentor my high school team, FRC 313, until I joined FRC 1076. I am currently an Industrial Engineer for a Tier 2 Auto Supplier. FIRST is so awesome (exciting, engaging, surprising, competitive, inspiring), that I just can't help but come back year after year, and am excited to see what new heights our team can reach.

Rachel Goubert Treasurer I started mentoring the Pi Hi Samurai in the 2014 season with mechanical and design, and have since bounced around to help out wherever I am most needed. I was the head mentor in 2016 but had to step down when I moved out of Ann Arbor. Now, I help out remotely as the team's treasurer. I attended the University of Michigan and graduated in 2015 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and now I work at GKN Driveline in Auburn Hills, MI. I was on a FIRST robotics team when I was in high school (Team 1718!) and credit my experience on the team for my decision to pursue engineering in college. I enjoy giving back to the program that gave me so much, and I hope that my continued involvement helps to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM fields.

Rachel Goubert
Treasurer

I started mentoring the Pi Hi Samurai in the 2014 season with mechanical and design, and have since bounced around to help out wherever I am most needed. I was the head mentor in 2016 but had to step down when I moved out of Ann Arbor. Now, I help out remotely as the team's treasurer. I attended the University of Michigan and graduated in 2015 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and now I work at GKN Driveline in Auburn Hills, MI. I was on a FIRST robotics team when I was in high school (Team 1718!) and credit my experience on the team for my decision to pursue engineering in college. I enjoy giving back to the program that gave me so much, and I hope that my continued involvement helps to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM fields.

Steve Hathaway School Representative 2016-17 is my second year of with Pi Hi Samurai. Having the first year behind me, with its roller-coaster ride of learning what a robotics club is, I look forward to being more helpful to the club. I teach history at Pioneer, so my support of the club isn't with the technical aspects, but rather, the organizational end of things. Having seen what it has to offer students, I'm glad to do whatever I can to support the club. It's a rewarding to help make its opportunities available to young people and also to work with the many dedicated, very involved parents and other volunteers who are the driving force behind the club. (That it offers a chance to drill and cut things and fuss them together with various fasteners is also just fine by this Macgyver-ish, tinkering DIY-er ;- ) 

Steve Hathaway
School Representative

2016-17 is my second year of with Pi Hi Samurai. Having the first year behind me, with its roller-coaster ride of learning what a robotics club is, I look forward to being more helpful to the club. I teach history at Pioneer, so my support of the club isn't with the technical aspects, but rather, the organizational end of things. Having seen what it has to offer students, I'm glad to do whatever I can to support the club. It's a rewarding to help make its opportunities available to young people and also to work with the many dedicated, very involved parents and other volunteers who are the driving force behind the club. (That it offers a chance to drill and cut things and fuss them together with various fasteners is also just fine by this Macgyver-ish, tinkering DIY-er ;- 

 
Mark Menge Software Mentor I am a software mentor for the software team, focusing on computer vision, LIDAR and 3D printing.   I am a software engineer at A&D Technology, where we produce hardware and software products to test engines and EV batteries.  In my free time, I like to collaborate on wacky Arduino projects and I am learning to play hockey.

Mark Menge
Software Mentor

I am a software mentor for the software team, focusing on computer vision, LIDAR and 3D printing.   I am a software engineer at A&D Technology, where we produce hardware and software products to test engines and EV batteries.  In my free time, I like to collaborate on wacky Arduino projects and I am learning to play hockey.

Matthew Jones Software Mentor I’m a mentor with the software team.  I’m a routing protocols programmer for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, CA, and I work from my home office. While I’ve got loads of experience coaching soccer, basketball, and baseball, this position gives me a chance to coach something that I actually know.    I like to get away from the office and meet real people, so I’m hoping we can do some programming projects in person. I’m really interested in software projects that can make our robot more alive, such giving our robot sight, the ability to respond to outside stimuli, and maybe its own identity in the social media world.  I’d really love the chance to work on some focused projects that we can develop and test independently of the robot drive train.   Maybe give me some ideas for my next career move! (The picture above most appropriate picture I can provide.  We’re working on image processing in the software team.   This combines 3 images.)  

Matthew Jones
Software Mentor

I’m a mentor with the software team.  I’m a routing protocols programmer for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, CA, and I work from my home office.
While I’ve got loads of experience coaching soccer, basketball, and baseball, this position gives me a chance to coach something that I actually know.    I like to get away from the office and meet real people, so I’m hoping we can do some programming projects in person.

I’m really interested in software projects that can make our robot more alive, such giving our robot sight, the ability to respond to outside stimuli,
and maybe its own identity in the social media world.  I’d really love the chance to work on some focused projects that we can develop and test
independently of the robot drive train.   Maybe give me some ideas for my next career move!

(The picture above most appropriate picture I can provide.  We’re working on image processing in the software team.   This combines 3 images.)

 

Mary Skiver Co-Business Mentor I’m the lead business mentor for the PiHi Samurai.  My day job is sales manager for Publishers Group West, a book distribution company that represents over 100 independent publishers.  I’ve been in the book business for 27 years, ever since I got a bookstore job in college while I tried to figure out what my ‘real’ job would be. I have been volunteering with 1076 for two years as parent coordinator.  I’m excited this year to be working with students on all the non-mechanical stuff that needs to happen for the team to run, be successful and fun.  I have been a volunteer with FIRST for 5 years and I am also the parent coordinator for team 5708 Community High School Zebrotics.

Mary Skiver
Co-Business Mentor

I’m the lead business mentor for the PiHi Samurai.  My day job is sales manager for Publishers Group West, a book distribution company that represents over 100 independent publishers.  I’ve been in the book business for 27 years, ever since I got a bookstore job in college while I tried to figure out what my ‘real’ job would be.

I have been volunteering with 1076 for two years as parent coordinator.  I’m excited this year to be working with students on all the non-mechanical stuff that needs to happen for the team to run, be successful and fun.  I have been a volunteer with FIRST for 5 years and I am also the parent coordinator for team 5708 Community High School Zebrotics.

 
Owen Hughes Design Mentor After a whirlwind 3 years as a student on the team (one year as lead of mechanical, two as lead of design team) I'm giving back to the team. This year I'm excited to spend this year working as a mentor for the design team. I have substantial experience with both CAD and Manufacturing processes used in FIRST. While I hope to impart those skills to the students, I would prefer to inspire them to go above and beyond the requirements and limitations of FIRST and explore the larger world of robotics. I'm currently working as a research assistant in the ROAHM lab at the U of M researching pedestrian detection in autonomous vehicles and vision tracking of soft robotics systems.

Owen Hughes
Design Mentor

After a whirlwind 3 years as a student on the team (one year as lead of mechanical, two as lead of design team) I'm giving back to the team. This year I'm excited to spend this year working as a mentor for the design team. I have substantial experience with both CAD and Manufacturing processes used in FIRST. While I hope to impart those skills to the students, I would prefer to inspire them to go above and beyond the requirements and limitations of FIRST and explore the larger world of robotics.

I'm currently working as a research assistant in the ROAHM lab at the U of M researching pedestrian detection in autonomous vehicles and vision tracking of soft robotics systems.

Chris Burtraw Electrical Mentor I have been involved in FIRST since 2009.  I was a student on Team 313 in Wayne, Michigan, and mentored the same for 3 years.  After taking a break to focus on college, I returned to mentorship with 1076 for the 2015 season.  I am now lead mentor for the electronics and pneumatics sub-team.  I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering.  I currently work as a Sales Engineer for Aisin World Corp of America in Northville.  Aside from my involvement in FIRST, my spare time is spent as a Chapter Advisor for the Theta Xi fraternity at UM, resident coordinator for the Chapter House, fixing and tuning cars, and traveling on the cheap.  

Chris Burtraw
Electrical Mentor

I have been involved in FIRST since 2009.  I was a student on Team 313 in Wayne, Michigan, and mentored the same for 3 years.  After taking a break to focus on college, I returned to mentorship with 1076 for the 2015 season.  I am now lead mentor for the electronics and pneumatics sub-team. 

I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering.  I currently work as a Sales Engineer for Aisin World Corp of America in Northville.  Aside from my involvement in FIRST, my spare time is spent as a Chapter Advisor for the Theta Xi fraternity at UM, resident coordinator for the Chapter House, fixing and tuning cars, and traveling on the cheap.  

Caleb Jones Software Mentor I’m one of the team’s software mentors and was the student leader for software team last year. I’m in my first year studying computer science at the University of Michigan, and I spend a lot of my free time programming as well.

Caleb Jones
Software Mentor

I’m one of the team’s software mentors and was the student leader for software team last year. I’m in my first year studying computer science at the University of Michigan, and I spend a lot of my free time programming as well.


MEET THE STUDENT Leaders

Along with the mentors each sub team has a student leader that is experienced in each sub-team. Student Leaders work with students to accomplish goals and make sure the team finishes the robot as soon as possible.

Evan DeLosh Mechanical Student Leader I'm Evan DeLosh, and this is a little bit about me. I work here with my sub-team, Mechanical, and the Engineering lead, Big Jake. I'm a Junior and I've been interested in robotics almost as long as I can remember, so robotics has been a great creative outlet for me. When I have a spare moment I play video games and occasionally do electronics. One thing I can tell you after a year with the team - you never know WHAT is going to break next on that robot.

Evan DeLosh
Mechanical Student Leader

I'm Evan DeLosh, and this is a little bit about me. I work here with my sub-team, Mechanical, and the Engineering lead, Big Jake. I'm a Junior and I've been interested in robotics almost as long as I can remember, so robotics has been a great creative outlet for me. When I have a spare moment I play video games and occasionally do electronics. One thing I can tell you after a year with the team - you never know WHAT is going to break next on that robot.

Alita Boyse-Peacor Imagery Student Leader Hi, I'm Alita and I work as the student leader for imagery team. I joined the team for the programming aspect, and I didn't even know the imagery sub-team existed, but as I have have always enjoyed visuals this position was a perfect fit for me. I am also on the Pioneer rowing team and enjoy doing calligraphy in my spare time. 

Alita Boyse-Peacor
Imagery Student Leader

Hi, I'm Alita and I work as the student leader for imagery team. I joined the team for the programming aspect, and I didn't even know the imagery sub-team existed, but as I have have always enjoyed visuals this position was a perfect fit for me. I am also on the Pioneer rowing team and enjoy doing calligraphy in my spare time. 

Pranav Suresh Outreach & Communication Student Leader I'm Pranav and I am currently the outreach and communication student leader. Outreach and Communication is in charge of social media and our website as well as planning outreach events to interact with the community.  I joined robotics to see if I had an interest in Engineering and immediately grew a relationship with my team and FIRST. When I first joined the team I started on Mechanical/Design, however I quickly found I also had an interest in the Outreach component of the team. This year I decided that Outreach should completely rebuild our website and try to make our content easier to access. In my spare time I enjoy playing Video Games, watching Youtube and playing Tennis.

Pranav Suresh
Outreach & Communication Student Leader

I'm Pranav and I am currently the outreach and communication student leader. Outreach and Communication is in charge of social media and our website as well as planning outreach events to interact with the community. 

I joined robotics to see if I had an interest in Engineering and immediately grew a relationship with my team and FIRST. When I first joined the team I started on Mechanical/Design, however I quickly found I also had an interest in the Outreach component of the team. This year I decided that Outreach should completely rebuild our website and try to make our content easier to access. In my spare time I enjoy playing Video Games, watching Youtube and playing Tennis.

 
Joe Capuano Electrical Student Leader I joined the team in my freshman year, in 2014. I started in the electronics sub team from day one, and have now become its head. I’m looking forward to my first year on the leadership team!

Joe Capuano
Electrical Student Leader

I joined the team in my freshman year, in 2014. I started in the electronics sub team from day one, and have now become its head. I’m looking forward to my first year on the leadership team!

Nels Erickson Finance and Business Student Leader I'm a junior and the leader of the Finance an Business team. I joined the samurai in my freshman year. I started on the Design and Mechanical Team and then joined the Imagery and Outreach team my sophomore year, going on to lead the Outreach Team halfway through the season. This year I am continuing my time on the Business team and dabbling in Finances. In my free time, of which I have none, I play a lot of video games (primarily CS:GO, Farming Simulator and Truck Simulator), play oboe and English horn, and sleep.  Feel free to talk to me if you have any questions about school, robotics, life, video games, trucks, and just about anything you want!

Nels Erickson
Finance and Business Student Leader

I'm a junior and the leader of the Finance an Business team. I joined the samurai in my freshman year. I started on the Design and Mechanical Team and then joined the Imagery and Outreach team my sophomore year, going on to lead the Outreach Team halfway through the season. This year I am continuing my time on the Business team and dabbling in Finances. In my free time, of which I have none, I play a lot of video games (primarily CS:GO, Farming Simulator and Truck Simulator), play oboe and English horn, and sleep. 

Feel free to talk to me if you have any questions about school, robotics, life, video games, trucks, and just about anything you want!

Aaron Kofsky Software Student Leader I'm a Junior and the leader of software team. I joined Robotics last year mainly for the interesting problems it would challenge me with. Over the summer I was the only one on software team who was not a mentor and managed to write some nice features completely on my own (really proud of that). I have a nice amount of programming experience and am self taught. If I have free time (which I do not have), I usually make electronic music or just chat with friends.

Aaron Kofsky
Software Student Leader

I'm a Junior and the leader of software team. I joined Robotics last year mainly for the interesting problems it would challenge me with. Over the summer I was the only one on software team who was not a mentor and managed to write some nice features completely on my own (really proud of that). I have a nice amount of programming experience and am self taught. If I have free time (which I do not have), I usually make electronic music or just chat with friends.

 
Jacob Segal Engineering Student Leader Hi, I’m Jacob. I joined robotics my freshman year with an interest in engineering and seeing ideas come to life. The following year, I was the mechanical sub team leader. That fostered my interest in leadership as well as the mechanics of robotics. Last year, I became the engineering team lead student.  This position has given me the ability to see all the different parts and systems that go into building a robot. In my free time, I like to make cutting boards and pens in my basement workshop. I also row for Pioneer in the fall and the spring.

Jacob Segal
Engineering Student Leader

Hi, I’m Jacob. I joined robotics my freshman year with an interest in engineering and seeing ideas come to life. The following year, I was the mechanical sub team leader. That fostered my interest in leadership as well as the mechanics of robotics. Last year, I became the engineering team lead student.  This position has given me the ability to see all the different parts and systems that go into building a robot. In my free time, I like to make cutting boards and pens in my basement workshop. I also row for Pioneer in the fall and the spring.

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