Mentors

If a group of students are given the tools to build a robot, they will likely find a variety of different ways to build it. They may succeed, but even if they do, they will be bound to the same challenges of the past - after all, they wouldn't be the first in the world to build a robot. In order to get the full experience, they need to be able to speak with people who have done it before; they need to be able to speak with an experienced individual who is willing to reveal common problems and solutions to them, so that history is not repeated. They need a mentor.

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FIRST is a unique competition in that it allows students to have mentors. A mentor is someone who has prior experience working with a specific technology. For example: when creating a new drawing of the robot, a mentor would be able to help the student using their past experiences. The student will be able to learn much more than if they had tried to solve the problem using online guides. The mentoring program helps to accelerate students' learning.

A mentor can be almost anyone: a parent, a former student who has moved to post-secondary education, or a professional already working in the industry.

The students of Team 1114 - Simbotics would like to extend their greatest thanks to all those who tirelessly gave so much of their time to help prepare us for the future. Thank you to all of our mentors!

In Memory of

Stephen Rourke

Stephen Rourke founded Team 1114 in the fall of 2002. His constant efforts and mentorship led Simbotics to achievements that were once thought to be impossible. He touched the lives of every Simbot student and mentor, as a friend, a colleague and even a father figure. In May of 2010, Stephen tragically passed away. He will never be forgotten by his loving Simbot family.

Lead Mentors

Geoff Allan

Years in FIRST 15
Years on Simbotics 15 (1 as a student, 14 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Strategy and Drive, Website, Engineering and Manufacturing
Occupation Accountant
Education Mathematics/Business Administration, University of Waterloo 2008
Michael DiRamio

Michael DiRamio

Years in FIRST 12
Years on Simbotics 12
Position on team Controls and Programming, Electrical
Occupation Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher
Education Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science, University of Waterloo 2004
Greg Phillips

Greg Phillips

Years in FIRST 15
Years on Simbotics 15
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Website, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation Technological Director, Technological Teacher
Education Buffalo State University
Awards Windsor Essex Great Lakes Regional, 2014

Sub-team Mentors

Ben Bennett

Ben Bennett

Years in FIRST 11 (formerly with Team 2166, Appleby Robotics)
Years on Simbotics 8
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Electrical
Occupation Mechanical Engineer
Education Mechanical Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) 2012
Matthew Coffey

Matthew Coffey

Years in FIRST 11
Years on Simbotics 11 (5 as a student, 6 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation University Student
Education Concurrent Education, Brock University 2016

Graeme Crawley

Years in FIRST 7
Years on Simbotics 7 (4 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Programming and Controls, Website, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation University Student
Education Software Engineering, McMaster University 2019
Elijah Erb

Elijah Erb

Years in FIRST 7
Years on Simbotics 7 (4 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing
Occupation University Student
Education Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo 2020

Isaiah Erb

Years in FIRST 7
Years on Simbotics 7 (4 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Programming and Controls, Awards
Occupation University Student
Education Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo 2020
Dacotah Harvey

Dacotah Harvey

Years in FIRST 4
Years on Simbotics 4
Position on team Controls and Programming, Website
Occupation Jr. Developer
Education Computer Programmer Analyst, Niagara College 2014

Braeden Herbert

Years in FIRST 7
Years on Simbotics 7 (4 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Electrical
Occupation College Student
Education Electronics Engineering Technology (co-op), Niagara College 2019
Aaron Koscielski

Aaron Koscielski

Years in FIRST 8 (formerly with team 772)
Years on Simbotics 4
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation College student
Education Mechanical Engineering, Conestoga College 2017
Taylor Nicholson

Taylor Nicholson

Years in FIRST 9
Years on Simbotics 9 (4 as a student, 5 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Electrical, Awards
Occupation University Student
Education Mechanical Engineering, Queen’s University 2016
Jessa Pruniak

Jessa Pruniak

Years in FIRST 12
Years on Simbotics 12 (7 as a student, 5 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation College student
Education Northern College, Veterinarian Assistant Graduated 2013
Mike Quill

Mike Quill

Years in FIRST 11
Years on Simbotics 10 (5 as a student, 5 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Controls and Programming, Electrical
Occupation College Student
Education Computer Programmer, Niagara College

Brent Selvig

Years in FIRST 15
Years on Simbotics 15 (2 as a student, 13 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing
Occupation Tool & Die Maker
Education Tool & Die Maker Apprenticeship, Niagara College 2007
Todd  Willick

Todd Willick

Years in FIRST 14 (formerly with team 1305, Near North Student Robotics Initiative)
Years on Simbotics 12
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive
Occupation Engineer
Education Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo 2009

Ryan Willick

Years in FIRST 12 (formerly with team 1305, Near North Student Robotics Initiative)
Years on Simbotics 10 (2 as a student, 8 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing
Occupation College Student
Education Millwright, Canadore College, 2012

Mentors in Training

Gavin Black

Years in FIRST 6
Years on Simbotics 6 (4 as a student, 2 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing
Occupation University Student
Education Engineering, Guelph University 2020

Kyle Davis

Years in FIRST 2
Years on Simbotics 2 (0 as a student, 2 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Electrical
Occupation University Student
Education Engineering, Guelph University 2020
Kaleb Dodd

Kaleb Dodd

Years in FIRST 5
Years on Simbotics 5 (3 as a student, 2 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Stategy and Drive, Controls and Programming
Occupation University Student
Education Computer Science, Brock University 2020
Jason Roper

Jason Roper

Years in FIRST 7
Years on Simbotics 7 (3 as a student, 4 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Controls and Programming
Occupation University student
Education Computer Science, Brock University 2016

Alumni

Derek Bessette

Derek Bessette

Years in FIRST 15
Years on Simbotics 9
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Electrical
Occupation Engineer
Education Mechanical Engineering, Queen's University 2001
Awards Waterloo Regional, 2007
New team Team 3571, Milton Mustangs
Peter Diakow

Peter Diakow

Years in FIRST 11
Years on Simbotics 4 (3 as a student, 1 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Alumni
Occupation University Student
Education Mechanical Engineering, Queen's University 2010

Tyler Holtzman

Years in FIRST 15
Years on Simbotics 5 (2 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Alumni
Occupation Engineer
Education Software Engineering, McMaster University 2009
Awards Greater Toronto Regional, 2010
New team Team 2056, Orchard Park Robotics
Karthik Kanagasabapathy

Karthik Kanagasabapathy

Years in FIRST 20 (formerly with team 188, Woburn Robotics)
Years on Simbotics 13
Position on team Strategy and Drive, Controls and Programming, Website, Awards
Occupation Systems Analyst
Education Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo 2005
Awards Waterloo Regional, 2005
Ian Mackenzie

Ian Mackenzie

Years in FIRST 16 (formerly with Team 188, Woburn Robotics)
Years on Simbotics 7
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Controls and Programming, 3D Modelling
Occupation PhD Candidate
Education Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo 2006; Masters in System Design Engineering, University of Waterloo 2008
Awards Waterloo Regional, 2008
Leigh Pauls

Leigh Pauls

Years in FIRST 11
Years on Simbotics 4 (3 as a student, 1 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Controls and Programming, Electrical
Occupation University Student
Education Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo 2014
New team Team 254, The Cheesy Poofs
Alex Rodrigues

Alex Rodrigues

Years in FIRST 6 (formerly with team 4334)
Years on Simbotics 2
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive,Controls and Programming, Electrical
Occupation University Student
Education Mechatronics, University of Waterloo 2018
Mike Skupien

Mike Skupien

Years in FIRST 6 (Formerly with team 1334)
Years on Simbotics 2
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Electrical
Occupation University Student
Education Mechatronics, University of Waterloo 2018
Kyle Willick

Kyle Willick

Years in FIRST 14 (formerly with team 1305, Near North Student Robotics Initiative)
Years on Simbotics 9
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Controls and Programming, Electrical, Drive Coach
Occupation University Student
Education Mathematics, University of Waterloo 2012
Stacey Willick

Stacey Willick

Years in FIRST 11 (formerly with team 1305, Near North Student Robotics Initiative)
Years on Simbotics 7 (4 as a student, 3 as a returning mentor)
Position on team Engineering and Manufacturing, Strategy and Drive, Awards, Marketing and Promotions
Occupation University Student
Education Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph 2015