Spring 2014

Andreas Anderson


Andreas’ interest in robotics grew from a preoccupation with science fiction, which sprouted into a fascination with model making, special effects and, of course, computers. After taking his career through detours as diverse as tech support, acting and digital film processing, occasionally dabbling in prosthetic makeup and CGI, he finally settled on studying computer science and engineering. Starting out at Santa Monica College, he became a member the robotics club and also worked on building a UAV in his spare time. He transferred to UC Merced in 2013.

Contact: aanderson29@ucmerced.edu

Cody Crossley

Software Sub-team Leader

"My name is Cody Crossley and I am a third year Mechanical Engineering major at UC Merced. I have always been interested in unmanned aerial vehicles, but my true interest lies in sustainability. I would like to learn how these unmanned aerial systems can be adapted and utilized to increase efficiency and create a more sustainable agriculture industry."

Contact: ccrossley@ucmerced.edu

Dominic Milano

Team Leader

"My name is Dominic Milano and I am the Team Leader of the UAV project. As well, I am a senior in mechanical engineering and my interests lay in industrial machine design, automotive chassis research, and unmanned vehicles in agriculture. In my last semester at UC Merced I am dedicating myself to design of industrial assembly machines and unmanned vehicles in agriculture."

Contact: d.milano.ca@gmail.com

Elizabeth Balbuena


"My name is Elizabeth Balbuena. I am a Junior in the University of California, Merced. I am pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Science and minoring in Sociology. I am excited to join the UAV team here at UC Merced and I hope to gain knowledge about UAV's and further pursue my interest in robotics, artificial intelligence, and social issues."

Contact: ebalbuena@ucmerced.edu

Karen Turcios


"Hello, my name is Karen Turcios and I am currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California Merced. My goal this semester to gain a better understanding of UAV's through hands on experience, and am very excited to more thoroughly explore and understand their application to real-life problems."

Contact: kturcios2@ucmerced.edu

Markell Deruso


"My name is Markell Deruso and I am a senior environmental engineer prospective graduate for this upcoming Spring graduation ceremony. Upon graduation I will work hard towards achieving my Professional Engineer license in Civil or Environmental Engineering. I am excited to join the first ever UAV team here at UC Merced and I hope to gain valuable knowledge about UAV's and their application to real life problems."

Contact: mderuso@ucmerced.edu

Samuel Valdovinos


"Hi, my name is Samuel Valdovinos. I am currently fourth year Mechanical Engineer at the University of California, Merced. I've joined the UAV team in hopes of expanding my knowledge of unmanned aerial vehicles and their applications in the real world.​"

Contact: svaldovinos2@ucmerced.edu

Scott Kam

Hardware Sub-team Leader

"My name is Scott Kam. I am a 4th year mechanical engineering student and graduating in spring 2014. i am very excited to learn about the possible applications and uses of UAV technology!"

Contact: skam@ucmerced.edu

Sergio Gonzalez

Deputy Leader

"My name is Sergio Gonzalez, I am currently a first-year CSE Major. I have joined the UAV team this semester in hopes of attaining knowledge and experience of the Engineering design process. I have a great interest in both the mechanical and electronic components of flight, and hope to attain the proper connections and knowledge to soon become involved with research in UCMerced's MESA Labs."

Contact: jgonzalezcastello@ucmerced.edu

Shawn Cato


"Hi, my name is Shawn Cato. I’m currently a senior mechanical engineer at UC Merced. I am a member of the new UAV engineering service learning team. I’m looking forward to gaining hands on experience using drones while solving community problems."

Contact: dcato@ucmerced.edu

Thomas Thayer

Team Webmaster

"Hello, my name is Thomas Thayer. I am currently a junior at UC Merced and am studying both Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. I enjoy taking things apart and learning how they work so I can build my own version with various improvements, and have had a life long interest in robots and mechatronic devices. I am very excited to be a part of UC Merced history by joining the new UAV Engineering Service Learning team and look forward to a great future!"

Contact: tthayer@ucmerced.edu

Viridiana Navarro

Communication Specialist

"My name is Viridiana Navarro, a freshman at the University of California, Merced. I am currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree as an Environmental Engineer. I currently hold the position as communication specialist for the UAV Team that is part of The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning."

Contact: vnavarro5@ucmerced.edu