Notable Alumni (FRC)

Aryan Naveen

I have been involved in FIRST Robotics for nine years and counting. I have been involved with EnTech Robotics for four years through FTC and FRC. I am involved in the programming team and have served as a programming captain for the FRC team. My involvement with FIRST Robotics has motivated me to want to major in computer science and pursue a career in the field of robotics.

Elliot Turner

I was on the team for 5 years and was on the mechanical team. I moved up to being a team leader in my final two years with the team and learned many valuable skills while on the team.  I would say that my skills from FRC enlightened me about how exciting problem solving can be. This led me to try to find a major which combined ever-evolving problems with cutting-edge solutions, and I landed on aerospace engineering.

Madeline Robertson

I was on the FRC GreenVillains team for my first 2 years of high school, and was Mechanical captain/operator my second year. And I was on the FTC team for the next 2 years, when I switched schools. I was electrical captain and then mechanical captain and we won state once. I was on a FLL team for 3 years, and a Jr. FLL team for 1 year. I am currently attending Olin College of Engineering for mechanical engineering. I am now back as a mentor as I took a semester off to do an internship before going back to complete my senior year, as of January 2024. This team specifically taught me about practical engineering, rather than just theory. This team sparked a love for machining that persists to this day, as I work in my college's machine shop during school.

Rian Simpson

I was on FRC GreenVillains team for three years, the 2016-2018 seasons. I obtained a bachelors degree from The University of Utah in Mechanical Engineering. I am currently attending Johns Hopkins University to obtain a Masters in Robotics and Autonomous Systems as of 2024. During my time on the team, I served as the Electrical Sub Team captain, and the Scouting captain. The GreenVillains is where I realized I wanted to be an engineer. I had no real idea what I had wanted to do in college and a career before FIRST, but I loved my time on the team and decided that I wanted to keep doing robotics until it was no longer interesting. It never did, and I have 281 to thank for starting me on the career path I continue to follow! My current position as of 2024 is a Robotics Systems Engineer and Mars 2020 Rover Planner at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

Alex Cowden

Currently, I'm an intern at GE here in Greenville. As far as FIRST experience, I was on an FLL team for 2 years in elementary school, and then I was on FRC 281 from the 2017-2020 seasons. I was electrical, then electrical lead, and team captain. I go to Georgia Tech for mechanical engineering. As for inspiration, you can say that while I always knew I wanted to be an engineer, FRC was the most fun I ever had doing anything. FRC made me want to go into mechanical design in robotics. This is my first year as a mentor as of 2024. I joined because I want other students to have the opportunity to both learn as much as I did, and have as much fun as I did.

David Gaddy

I participated in FIRST for 7 years from 2005 to 2012, with 2 years doing FLL followed by 5 years of FRC and FTC at EnTech.  At EnTech I started on the mechanical subteam but then switched to programming for most of my time there.  After high school I went to MIT.  Because of my experience programming with FIRST, I knew I wanted to study computer science and had a lot of prior experience in coding that was very helpful.  I then went on to get my PhD at UC Berkeley in natural language processing and AI, and as of 2024 I work at Google DeepMind doing AI research.