About

Our team is very grateful for all of our mentors who have taken a great amount of time out of their lives to help us out. We are very lucky to have such a diverse group of mentors, each with unique skills and personalities. 

David Giandomenico

Team Coach

David Giandomenico earned his Ph.D and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley, specializing in high voltage and power semiconductor devices, with a minor in numerical analysis.  He received his bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering at MIT, with a concentration in literature.  Prior to college, Mr Giandomenico attended the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead CA, where he studied electronics in a four-year technical program.

David Giandomenico

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I joined Lynbrook Robotics when my son, Stephen, joined in 2004.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I'm an electrical engineer, but I do a bit of everything. Software, hardware, grant applications...You name it.

  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I like showing the kids how to build things, especially when we use new methods, like hot wire foam cutters, or bending polycarb. I get a kick seeing a student go bug-eyed as they suddenly understand a difficult concept, like using op-amps to integrate, or when they use a propane torch for the first time. But I probably wouldn't still be doing this if I wasn't learning a lot from both the talented and enthusiastic mentors as well as the top students, who have brought me up to speed on web design and software dev tools. And finally, when I see how far these guys have progressed as they graduate from when they joined as freshman -- now that's really gratifying. That, and I'm a roboholic.

Yang Xie

Team Mentor, Silicon Valley Regional 2007 Woodie Flowers Finalist Award

Mr. Xie has been a mentor on the Funky Monkeys since the team's founding in 2002. He holds a Ph.D in Mechanical engineering at KLA-Tencor. Mr. Xie's contributions as a mentor were recognized in 2007 with the presigious Woodie Flowers Award at the Silicon Valley Regional. He is primarily involved in Mechanical Design/CAD.

Yang Xie

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I joined because my daughter, along with some other students, created this club and needed my help.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I help design the robot and guide students through creating strategies, determining functions, how to handle projects, and how to motivate people.

  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I think everyone has an obligation for an education and everyone is responsible for the community. I believe this club does things that the school cannot offer and I support its cause.


Ralph Lowd

Team Mentor

Ralph Lowd earned his degree in electrical Engineering at MIT. He has had a programming career at IBM testing disk drives. He got involved with machining while working at a machine shop during the summers at MIT which paid for his tuition and by taking classes at De Anza. He first got involved with FIRST in 2001 with Homestead Robotics, where his son was a member. In 2010, he joined as mentor for the Lynbrook Robotics. Currently, he is mostly involved with machining. He considers himself to be a jack of all trades.

Ralph Lowd

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    Initially, I participated because my son was a member of a team. After he graduated, I was still very interested, and came to Lynbrook after meeting one of the members at an event.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I work on mechanically related issues.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I enjoy working on technical stuff and being around the kids. I also don't have anything better to do!!


Wes Harrison

Team Mentor

Wes graduated from Oregon State University in 1963 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies during his 41 year career in the field of electronics. In his ‘spare’ time, Wes has enjoyed traveling, climbing Mt. Whitney 3 times, hiking the Kalalau trail in Kauai, Hawaii, wood turning, and managing a tree farm in northwest Oregon. Wes ‘discovered’ the Funky Monkeys in 2012 and has ‘helped the team where ever he can’ since then.

Wes Harrison

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I was working with a Lynbrook student on another volunteer project. He invited me to visit the Robotics Club and perhaps join the club. When I saw what the Club was all about, I volunteered to help
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I have a dregree in Electrical Engineering and worked in the industry for 41 years. I am now "officially" retired. I try to help the students wherever I can. Sometimes it is with lab organization, fabricating parts, testing, or making sure the equipment is operated safely.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I enjoy helping the students learn the myriad of skills that are acquired in Robotics lab. For most students in today’s world, Robotics will be the only place where they can learn these skills.  It’s a unique opportunity for them to be able to participate in the design and building of a highly functional robot.


Cindy Chan

Team Mentor

Mrs. ChanCindy earned M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Massachusetts. She works at Cisco Systems in developing software for a variety of network routing and switching platforms, as well as developing SDN applications.

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I started to participate in Lynbrook robotics activities when my daughter joined in 2011.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I enjoyed taking photos and recording matches in CalGames, SVR, and various off-season games. It helps to provide information for post-mortem and enhance game strategy. I also work with web and software team to provide guidance and solving issues.
  • Why do you particpate in Robtics?
    I joined the mentor team with the intent to work closely with students in areas where needed, and share ideas. I believe it's a two way street, and we would learn from each other.


Fernando Reyes

Team Mentor

Payton

Payton was a machinist for over 25 years and his experience base includes machining components for: R&D, prototypes, fixtures, tooling, thermoform molds, injection molds, robotics, and short runs in the medical device, aerospace, defense and tech industries. He has programed, set up, and run CNC mills and manual mills and lathes. Today, Payton is a trauma critical care trained nurse and works in organ donation. He earned his Baccalaureate in Nursing from San Jose State University. Payton began his relationship with Funky Monkeys in 2004 by making a few parts for the robot that year, Bikebot. Soon after, he began mentoring a few students in machining at his (then) employer's in-house machine shop and continues to do so today in the Team's machine shop.

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    Stephen Giandomenico's mother asked if I would help machine some components for Stephen's robotics team.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    a. Monopolize a seat during meetings.
    b. Remind people to wear their safety glasses, tie their hair back and up, remove long sleeves and draw strings.
    c. Instill the belief that one should measure twice so that one needs to cut only once.
    d. Educate the team to learn from my mistakes because you won't have the time to make them all yourselves.
    e. This shouldn't be about what I do.  It's about what you need help doing!
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I believe one of the most important things to pass on is teaching others how to "fish"! 

Johnathan Chai

Alumni and Team Mentor

Ravi Iyer

Mr. Iyer has been a mentor with Funky Monkeys since 2012. He primarily advises the team on project management and supports in administration and build activities. He currently works at Cisco Systems and holds a master’s degree in engineering from Villanova University.

  • Why did you join Robotics?

    My son Rahul joined the Funky Monkeys in 2012. I got immediately hooked and convinced his twin sister Amrita to join in 2013. It’s been a blast.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?

    I primarily help the team with project management and other administrative aspects of the team. I also love getting involved during the build season with general shop floor activities.

  • Why do you participate in Robotics?

    FRIST Robotics is the closest any student can get to with real world experience. True to team 846 motto “Build.Learn.Inspire”, robotics gives me the opportunity to watch, learn and have fun with the kids.

Milind Joshi

Team Mentor

Milind Joshi

Milind Joshi has been a mentor with the Funky Monkeys since 2012. He is co-founder of a silicon valley start-up - WorkSpan. He advises the team in the area of software. He holds Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India.

  • Why did you join Robotics?

    I learned about First Robotics and Team 846 when I watched Calgames. I started working with the team when my son, Yash, joined the team.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?

    I work with software team and help them design software, solve problems, provide guidance on tools and techniques of developing software.

  • Why do you participate in Robotics?

    It’s fascinating to see how a team of enthusiastic students and equally enthusiastic and passionate mentors comes together and engineer a working robot in a short period of six weeks during build season. It’s a joy to work with the team, share ideas and watch students learn and grow.

Chinmay Jaju

Alumni '11 and Team Mentor

chinmay

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I joined robotics as soon as I got into high school. I always enjoyed tinkering with legos and model airplanes, and robotics is a natural extension of the things I love.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I love strategy in FRC games. Its interesting to look at the game each year and predict how things are going to play out. Because I don't live close to the team anymore, I try to contribute what I can online by talking to members about my ideas and working with them on organization or written work. Recently, I helped the team start becauserobots.org, a website that highlights advancements in robotics technology. My goal is to inspire students the same way I am inspired every time I watch a video or read an article about new technology.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I couldn't have asked for more out of my four years as a student, and my goal is to continue being part of FIRST as a Volunteer and mentor. I used to love the thrill of the competition, but even more, I realized that I love being around similarly minded people. Also, the opportunity to have a high functionality, really expensive and fancy "toy" robot to play with is a great incentive to do robotics


Andres Rodriguez

Team Mentor

Andres Rodriguez

Andres Rodriguez is one of the new members of Team 846, the Funky Monkeys. He is currently a second year at San Jose State University and majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated from High Tech High School in 2014 participating all four years on the robotics team. During his second year of middle school, he attended a robot demonstration hosted by The Holy Cows. Due to this event, Andres has had a passion with FIRST and the S.T.E.M community. Throughout his FIRST career he has gained knowledge in CAD, manufacturing, mechanical design, team leadership, scouting, and strategy. His history with FIRST, love for helping others, and a passion for robotics and competition is the driving force behind Andres' devotion to mentoring.

  • Why did you join Robotics?

    In my first year in high school, out of curiosity, I entered a room that held with in it a robot in shambles. Day after day, I came back to see the once pile of metal pieces transform into a functioning robot: I was inspired and hooked. Five years later and my feelings are the same.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    Robotics is passion of mine. During my years as a student I managed to learn multiple skills like CAD, manufacturing, mechanical design, team leadership, scouting, and strategy. I now pass down what I have learned to the future engineers as a mentor.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    There are a lot of reasons why I still participate in robotics but the short and simple answer is that I love teaching, learning and competing.


Jake McCann

Team Mentor

Mr. Mc Can

Jake McCann is currently an undergraduate student studying computer science at San Jose State University. He is a former member and mentor of team 1678, where he found interest in the FIRST robotics program during high school. Jake's experience in FRC is mostly compromised of mechanical design, manufacturing, game scouring, and competition scouting.

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    I found out about robotics from a friend who was on the team and suggested it to me. I joined the team my senior year after an injury which forced me to leave the high school track and field team.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I have a background in scouting and competition strategy along with mechanical design are the areas in which I spend the most time.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I participate in FRC as a mentor because I love the interesting challenge that the games provide, and I appreciate how motivated and dedicated the students are about the program. Teaching is much more fun when the students care so much about the material


Takumi Kawaguchi

Team Mentor

Takumi Kawaguchi

Takumi Kawaguchi is a new mentor for FRC Team 846, who is currently studying aerospace engineering as an undergraduate at San Jose State University. A graduate of Davis Senior High School and an alumni of FRC Team 1678, Takumi has under him four years of mechanical design and manufacturing experience.

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    A good friend of mine dragged me into FRC, knowing my interest in robotics during my middle school years. After seeing the full scope of STEM and the sports like competitiveness of the program, I decided to stick with it all 4 years of high school.
  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I have a background being on drive team and anything mechanical.
  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I love the competitiveness and cooperativeness of the program and the friends I'm able to make through it.


David Wachenschwanz

Team Mentor

David Wachenschwanz

  • Why did you join Robotics?
    My son, Michael, dragged me in.

  • What are some of the things you do in Robotics?
    I work on electronics, sensors, and software in general.

  • Why do you participate in Robotics?
    I enjoy electronics and working with students. I think its a good opportunity and I'm addicted to this kind of work.


George Peck

Teacher Adviser

Roy Chua

Team Mentor

Dan Peake

Team Mentor

Gerald Haas

Team Mentor

Nancy Haas

Team Mentor

Alexander Kanaris

Team Mentor

Joan Lin

Team Mentor