Alumni

On TALON 540, we create a family dynamic between members, because the work we do extends beyond the robot we build. This bond causes many of our alumni to continually return to advise the team. Our alumni base includes over 50 students who readily assist the team in various facets. As our motto goes, “We are more than a robot. We are a family.” The bonds created on this team last a lifetime.


After 540

TALON 540 prides itself in producing tomorrow's engineers by inspiring kids to pursue engineering in college. In fact...

  • 98% of TALON 540 members go on to a four-year college.

  • 99% of those that go onto a four year college pursue a STEM field as their primary major.

Our graduates have reached success in their undergraduate education and in their professional careers; below is a selected story.


Alumni Stories

During the 2012 build season, Ravi was the CAD lead and an integral designer in the construction of the robot TALON 5.0. To have 5.0 cross the large metal bump in the center of the field, Ravi designed a unique eight-wheel drivetrain. The system featured a standard four-wheel drivetrain, with four additional raised wheels in front of their standard counterparts. To drive the system, Ravi did extensive research with belt drives and designed a belt drive system for the first time in TALON 540 history. His system was resilient, effective, and revolutionary. As a result, he won a scholarship with FIRST sponsor Gates Belts for his work with belts in TALON 5.0. Ravi was flown to Gates headquarters and given a monetary prize, shown to the right.


Graduating Year

 

2015

Trevor Davidson

  • Trevor Davidson graduated in 2015 and is a full time student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently majoring in mechanical engineering. Trevor is an engineering intern at Piedmont Metal Fabricators, a member of GT's HyTech Racing team, and a mentor for FRC team 1648, G3 Robotics, in Atlanta Georgia.

Jennifer Mak

  • Jennifer Mak graduated in 2015 and is a full time student at VCU. She is currently majoring in biomedical engineering on the rehabilitation engineering track.

Bhargav Sathish

  • Bhargav Sathish graduated in 2015 and is a full time student at VCU. He is currently majoring in biomedical engineering on the premed track.

Richard Thrift

  • Richard Thrift graduated in 2015 and is a full time student at James Madison University. He is currently majoring in engineering and double minoring in mathematics and robotics.

Caroline Turkanis

  • Caroline Turkanis graduated in 2015 and is a full time student at Wellesley College. She is currently majoring in international relations on the political science track. In the summer of 2015, Caroline was an intern in the testing department at Iggbo, a software development startup similar to Uber. She tested and recorded bugs in the software as well as did research for the app's expansion into new cities.


2014

Tim Maxwell

  • Tim graduated in 2014 and was on the team through 2011-13 as a part of the Programming Subgroup.  During his junior year, he was the outreach lead and his duties involved helping FRC Team 3168.  Tim is currently attending Lynchburg College majoring in Technical theater and is one of the Assistant Technical directors for the theater department using the skills he learned on the team with. He is also helping  as a mentor for FRC Team 5279 Altivista Bionic Eagles from Altivista Virginia.

Nick Taylor

  • Nick Taylor graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at VCU. He is currently majoring in biology.

Paul Girgis

  • Paul Girgis graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at UVA. He is currently double majoring in systems engineering and economics.

Sofia Duarte

  • Sofia Duarte graduated in 2014 and is currently studying for her associates in engineering at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. She is a full time student and an intern with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

AJ Lukanuski

  • AJ Lukanuski graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at Sweet Briar College. She is currently majoring in engineering.

Patrick Rice

  • Patrick Rice graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at the College of William and Mary. He is currently majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics.

Ben Walters

  • Ben Walters graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at UVA. He is currently majoring in engineering.

David Qin

  • David Qin graduated in 2014 and is a full time student at Virginia Tech. He is currently majoring in business information technology.


2013

Connor Brogan

  • Connor Brogan graduated in 2013 and is a full time student at Virginia Tech. He is currently majoring in biological systems engineering.

Daniel Ruwe

  • Daniel Ruwe graduated in 2013 and  is a full time student at Virginia Tech. He is currently double majoring in computer engineering and computer science and minoring in mathematics.

Harrison Nichols

  • Harrison Nichols graduated in 2013 and  is a full time student at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently majoring in electrical engineering.

Ryan Katona

  • Ryan Katona graduated in 2013 and is double majoring in physics and mathematics at Lynchburg College. He is a full time student at Lynchburg College and a member of the varsity baseball team.

Joshua Rosenthal

  • Joshua Rosenthal graduated in 2013 and is a full time student at Virginia Tech. He is currently majoring in civil engineering.

Justin Tsui

  • Justin Tsui graduated in 2013 and is a full time student at VCU. He is currently majoring in biomedical engineering.

Neville Jos

  • Neville Jos graduated in 2013 and is majoring in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently the lead back-end engineer at Limelight Mobile.

Owen Billard

  • Owen Billard graduated in 2013 and is majoring in physics at VCU as a full time student.


2012

Christopher Barnett

  • Christopher Barnett graduated in 2012 and is a full time student at Virginia Tech. He is currently majoring in mechanical engineering.


2011

Ashley Hedberg

  • Ashley Hedberg graduated in 2011 and double majored in computer science and applied mathematics. She earned an internship to Rapid7 in summer 2013 and an internship to Google in summer 2014.


2010

Aditya Mothadaka

  • Aditya Mothadaka graduated in 2010 and double majored in psychology and finance. He currently works as a trader.

Alex Bush

  • Alex Bush graduated in 2010 and is currently double majoring in biology and Spanish at VCU. In addition to being a full time student, she currently works part time as a veterinary assistant and as an administrative and accounting assistant at a construction firm.

Brock Davis

  • Brock Davis graduated in 2010 and majored in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. He currently works as a researcher in the VT CRASH Lab.

Greer Peterson

  • Greer Peterson graduated in 2010 and double majored in environmental technology and management at North Carolina State University. He is currently working as the environmental coordinator for a power line right-of-way clearing project in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

Meher Malik

  • Meher Malik graduated in 2010 and majored in biomedical engineering at VCU. He is currently a medical student at MCV/VCU School of Medicine.

Quinn Brogan

  • Quinn Brogan graduated in 2010 and has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. She is currently a graduate student, working towards a master of science degree in electrical engineering.

Teja Chiluvuri

  • Teja Chiluvuri graduated in 2010 and double majored in electrical engineering and computer engineering at Virginia Tech. He is currently a graduate research assistant at VT and is accepting a full time job offer at Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego.


2009

Akash Jain

  • Akash Jain graduated in 2009 and majored in chemical engineering at Virginia Tech. He currently works as a process contact at Exxon Mobil.


2008 

Robert Brik

  • Robert Brik graduated in 2008 and majored in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He attended Carnegie Mellon as a graduate student and is currently a medical device design engineer.

Varun Ghatge

  • Varun Ghatge graduated in 2008 and majored in computer science at VCU. He is a full time student.


2007

Matthew Williams

  • Matthew Williams graduated in 2007. He majored in interactive design and game development as well as minored in animation at Savannah College of Art and Design. He currently works as a compatibility test technician at Epic Games and was formerly a Cinematic TD/Animator at Pendulum Studios. 


“As an alumnus of TALON 540, I still come back and provide insight from my experience when it’s needed. I look forward to watching this team grow and evolve over the next several years.”

— Owen Billard