Mentors

We greatly appreciate our team’s mentors for the time they give to help us in building and competing for the FIRST Robotics competition.

Tony A.

Tony has been with the team since 2005 and helps out with the electronic components on our robots, tools, and control systems. He is a project manager at Boeing St. Louis and has a degree in electrical engineering. He helps because, “FIRST is an arena where I can utilize the gifts God has given me to help others.”

Steve H.

Mr. Steve joined this team in 2005. He is a journeyman electrician. He helps doing anything needed with tools and welding, though he actually stays away from the robot’s electrical design. He is also dubbed “the safety guy” for unknown reasons. He does this because, “Roger S. asked me and we’re good friends, I like using my hands, and I enjoy teaching kids to design with building in mind. If they’re not careful, they’ll design something unbuildable and teaching them to design with building in mind is very important.”

Karl H.

Karl was one of the founding mentor “fathers”. He joined this team when it first started wich was in 2004.He is a Senior Automotive mechanic for Ameren Illinois Utilities. He helps with welding, machining and assay of sub systems and parts. He helps teach students to properly use the tools such as mills, lathes, and welders. He says, “I really enjoy introducing students to working with their hands and directing their minds to think outside the box.”

Roger S.

Roger is the team’s head mentor. He joined the team in 2004 and is one of the founding mentor “fathers” He is generally involved in any and all activities of the team. He attended the Lutheran Fraternity at Rolla and has a degree in engineering. He currently works for Innoventor. In 2010 he was nominated for the Woodie Flower’s Award at the St. Louis Regional and won. He says he started FIRST Team #1444, “Because we wanted more Lutheran high schoolers to join the Fraternity at Rolla. Kids who might like engineering just weren’t getting exposed to it, and FIRST seemed like a great way to do that.”

Jim B.

Jim has been with the team for four years. He has a degree from Rolla in Mechanical Engineering. He has mostly worked in aerospace and electrical manufacturing but has been retired since 1998. He has also received a patent. He currently volunteers with the USO of St. Louis, and is on the board for God Cares, an organization for homeless veterans. He says, “I enjoy very much working with the students and try to share some of my enthusiasm for engineering.”

Tom S.

Tom joined our team in 2008. Previously, he was a mentor at team 1315. Mr. Tom was an electrician, programmer, and instructor for Chrysler until 2008. Since 2010 he has been working for Terminal Railroad Association. He helps to pass on skills to students in the technical areas of robot production. He says, “It is fun to see the students get excited when it all comes together.”

Robert H.

Robert is Karl’s son and was one of the first students to join the Lightning Lancers. He has since gone to Rolla and received a degree in aerospace engineering. After he returned from school, he rejoined the team as a mentor.

Mike C.

Mike was a student member of the team from 2004 until he graduated in 2007. He later attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and attained degrees in both Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was also a member of Beta Sigma Psi, a sponsor of the Lightning Lancers. After graduation he returned as a mentor and imparts his wisdom among the team members. Mike is a programming extraordinaire and enjoys fabricating random mechanical odds and ends.

Nathan Decker

Nathan started as a mentor in the 2011 season. He graduated from Rolla (Missouri S&T) in May 2010, majoring in chemical engineering and chemistry. Nathan is working for Chemline in St. Louis, which an industrial coating company. Nathan helps out with the tools in the shop.

James “Hon” Krakowski

James joined our team in 2012 season. He works as an engineering technician at Innoventor Engineering. James graduated from Cornell College, but is currently attending University of Missouri St. Louis/Washington University Joint engineering program. He says, “It is great to mentor a great group of students and build crazy, new, and different projects each year.”

Stephen Johns

Stephen started to mentor us in 2012 season. He was on the team for 2 years in high school. Currently, Stephen is at St. Louis Community College. Stephen is transferring to Missouri S&T this fall in 2013 for a double major in electrical and computer engineering. He also spends time on team helping design robot components. His younger brother is currently a member of the team as well.

Aaron Hall

Aaron Hall is a Senior at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is Majoring in Electrical and computer Engineering. Aaron joined our team as a student in 2006, graduated in 2009, and started mentoring in 2010. He helps mainly with electronics and programming, but he also helps with machining and assembly.