Eric VanBuren

Name: Eric VanBuren

Occupation: FIRST Senior Mentor, Washington FTC & FRC Team Advocate, Washington FIRST Robotics

Real Estate Broker, Keller Williams Puget Sound

FIRST Experience: FRC Mentor Team #2046  2009-present, LRI 2014-present, Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Recipient

Ri3D role: Team leader, Assembly & Fabrication

Hobbies: There is life outside of FIRST?

Kenny Wells (The Sorcerer)

Name: Kenny Wells (The Sorcerer)

Occupation: Hardware and Mechanical Test Engineer

Years in FIRST: 7 years(2009-present) – Founding member of team 2907, Wyoming FIRST Mentor and MC/Game Announcer, Washington FIRST MC, Mentor (Team 2907)

Education: Robotics degree from Casper College

Hobbies: Underwater Hockey and other cool stuff

Aaron Schmitz

Name: Aaron Schmitz

Occupation: Xbox Mechanical Engineer

FIRST History: 3 years of FLL, 2 years of FRC (2502 Talon Robotics), 3 years as FIRST Volunteer and FLL/FTC/FRC Mentor (including 1 as FRC Lead Mentor of 2502)

Favorite Game: Rebound Rumble – 2012

Education: Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering – University of Minnesota; Master’s of Electrical Engineering – University of Washington (in progress)

Hobbies: Ex-pro unicyclist, but that’s a story for a different time

Role: Mechanical Design Co-lead

Jon Grimm

Name: Jon Grimm

Occupation: Computer Programmer for Hitachi Solutions America, Ltd

Years in FIRST: 4 years – Mentor (Team 2046)

Role: Programming

Chelsea Olson

Name: Chelsea Olson

Occupation: Electrical Engineer (and professional student/hopeful astronaut candidate). I have worked for Blue Origin and currently work for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

Years in FIRST/Role: 4…? I started part-time as a mentor in 2012 for FRC 2046 (Bear Metal) and have continued mentoring Bear Metal as an electronics mentor since. I’ve been volunteering for FRC and FTC since January 2013. This year, I have volunteered (or am planning on volunteering) for FLL, FTC, and FRC. Looking forward to working with more teams in Western Washington with FIRSTWA.

Favorite Game: Civilization V and Settlers of Catan. FRC? I loved 2012’s game (Rebound Rumble)… it was our best robot. 🙂

Education: BS Electrical Engineering (Embedded Software & Hardware Design, Control System Design), MS Electrical Engineering (Control System Design), and a PhD in progress (haptic user interfaces & forced feedback for teleoperated robotics). All at the University of Washington. (Go Huskies!)

Hobbies: Volunteering, Youth STEM Education, Reading, Violin, Yoga & Pilates, Dog Walks with my Pups, and Coding/Tinkering with Electronics.

Role on Team: Electronics + Software Integration + Food Planning

Jansen Hillis

Name: Jansen Hillis

Occupation: Boeing Lighting/Camera Test Engineer

Years in FIRST: 1 year FIRSTWA Media Mentor, 2 years active enthusiast

Favorite Game: Aerial Assist (2014)

Education: BS Computer Science – Western Washington University 2009

Hobbies: Multicopters, Tennis, Photography, Videography

Role on Team: Media, Fabrication, Coding

Darren VanBuren

Name: Darren VanBuren

Occupation/Employer: Jr Tester at Prowess Consulting

FIRST Experience: 2009-2012 Student on Team 2046, 2013 Mentor for Team 2046

Favorite Game: 2011 – LogoMotion

Education: Working on an associate degree at Green River

Hobbies: Playing video games, programming

Role on Team: Video-type media

Kay Grubb

Name: Kay Grubb

Occupation: Student at Western Washington University

Years in FIRST: 4 years as student 2011 – 2014 (Team FRC 2907), Washington FIRST Intern 2013 – 1014, FIRST Dean’s List Finalist 2014, FIRST Volunteer 2014- Present

Favorite Game: Rebound Rumble (2012)

Education: In progress…

Hobbies: Swimming, Robots, Exploring, Going to Disneyland

Role on Team: Strategy, Food, and Media

Regina Grubb

Name: Regina Grubb (Mama Grubb)

Occupation: High School Horticulture Teacher, Head Girls Swim Coach

Years in FIRST: 5 years – 1 year as parent, Coach 2011-2012 (FLL Team 10689), Head Strategy and Logistics mentor 2012 – present (FRC Team 2907, FTC Team 5953)

Favorite Game: Rebound Rumble (2012)

Education: BS in Plant Science from University of Idaho, MS in Agriculture Sustainable Urban Systems from Washington State University (in progress)

Hobbies: Therapeutic weed pulling, Knitting, Volunteering for FIRST

Role on Team: Sustenance Manager and Strategy Analyst


Name: Paul Roush

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Years in FIRST: A very long time… Founding mentor of Team 360 through 2009, Washington FIRST Machine Shop Lead, Woodie Flowers Award Finalist recipient

Role on Team: Assembly and Fabrication

Stephanie Hornung

Name: Stephanie Hornung

Occupation/Employer: Product Engineer, Target Corp.

Years in FIRST and Roles: 2 years FRC, 7 years volunteer (FRC field reset, FLL referee, FTC judge and referee)

Favorite Game: Rack & Roll (2007)

Education: Bachelor’s Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota/ current masters student, Human Factors & Ergonomics, University of Minnesota

Hobbies: tap dancing, baking

Kevin Parsons

Name: Kevin Parsons

Occupation: Software Engineer at Microsoft

Years in FIRST and Roles: 1 year Lego League, and volunteered at a Lego League event one time in college.

Education: BS in Computer Science from University of Minnesota

Hobbies: Reading, programming, video games

Role on Team: Programmer