Spring 2015


Chris Reps

Team Leader

Chris Reps is  a freshman materials science and engineering major. This is his second semester with the UAV project. Chris joined again to take a leadership position and help the project transfer between semesters. He really enjoyed the experience in robotics at his high school and wanted to continue on that path.I have been a part of several robotics clubs in high school and I am currently a member of AIAA.

Past Experience:

  • High School robotics team
  • AIAA member


Kaycee Chang

Platform Subteam Leader


Kaycee Chang is a first year environmental engineering. She joined the UAV Service Learning Team this semester for more hands-on experience in the engineering field. Kaycee also joined the team to explore the drone subject area and incorporate it with environmental engineering ideas.

Past Experience:

Engineers for a Sustainable World

Tomas Monroy

Student Advisory Committee Officer

Tomas Monroy is a second year pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is a first generation undocumented student. Working on a team is fundamental in the engineering field and this will help Tomas develop team building skills later used in the professional world while also developing both his communication and technical skills. This project will let Tomas see how plans are written and accomplished while also including proposal development strategies. After college he plans to either work in the field aiming towards Solar Industry or attend graduate school.

Past Experience:

  • Internships with the Cities of Porterville CA and Exeter CA
  • Intern Ships with Grid Alternatives and Sun Power
  • Executive Director and Co-Founder of Students Advocating Law & Education at UC Merced
  • Research on undocumented students and their experience at UC Merced
  • Chapter member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 

Armand Kirshman

Inventory Finance Officer

Armand Kirshman is a first-year student studying Computer Science and Engineering. He has always been passionate about all forms of computers and technology, especially robotics and is incredibly excited to be a part of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle team this semester because he believes that autonomous robots are the future. Armand finds it fascinating that technology has progressed to the point that robotic solutions like drones have transitioned from science fiction to reality. He's ready to help lead the team and make sure that they finish the semester with a fully functional and polished product. Regardless of the outcomes of this semester, the experiences Armand will have working with UAVs and the software they rely on will be deeply valuable and beneficial to all of the team.

Past Experience:

  • Assessment Sub-Team Leader for NISE Network
  • Public Relations Director of the ASUCM President

Kelvin Cheung

Team Member

Kelvin Cheung is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major. Kelvin joined the UAV Team because he is passionate and interested in learning about aerial vehicles. He wants to use his passion and knowledge about drones to help market them to consumers. Kelvin plans to pursue his graduate studies in Aerospace Science and Engineering and work for a company in the aerospace industry.

Past Experience:

  • Member of the AIAA
  • Social Media/Marketing Intern at Bondswell

Ulises Vargas


Ulises Vargas is a second year computer science and engineering major. He joined the UAV team because he has always been interested in autonomous vehicles. Ulises wants to acquire hands-on experience on how to work on a team project. He believes that technology has the ability to solve many problems that society is currently facing. Ulises would like to work on software development for an established corporation in Silicon Valley

Past Experience:

  • Community Director of the UCM Student Alumni Association

Eric Sosa

Deputy Leader

Eric Sosa is a 4th year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Writing. He joined the UAV team because he finds drones to be completely fascinating and wants to learn more about their functions while gaining hands on experience. Eric also joined the team to gain more experience as a professional, from presenting to working collaboratively with other individuals. After he graduates he plans to work in the automotive industry helping to advance and promote future innovations for hybrid vehicles and Hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Past Experience:

  • SHPE member
  • Instructional assistant

Austin Stratton

Imaging Subteam Leader

Austin Stratton, UAV’s imaging sub-team leader, is a first year mechanical engineering student.  He joined the UAV team to get hands on experience working with electronics and to help get a better understanding of what he might expect in the future, especially if he were to follow this type of idea as a career route.

Savannah De Jesus

Communications Officer

Savannah De Jesus is a freshmen at UC Merced. She is majoring in Computer Science and Engineering. This is Savannah's first year being a part of UAV. She joined this team to gain experience and knowledge with UAVs. Savannah did robotics in high school and wanted to carry on this experience into college. With the education in Computer Science she hopes to use her degree to help design cell phones and other electronics in the future.

Kyle Kirk

Team Member

Kyle Kirk is a first year Computer Science and Engineering major. He joined the UAV team to gain working experience and he can use the skills he has developed in CSE to be able to use in real world situations. After he graduates, he hopes to work as a software developer. 

Manuel Perez

Team Member

Manuel Perez is a 5th year Mechanical Engineering student. He have always been facinated by mechanical components and structures, but what really caught his attention were drones and their many possible uses. Manuel joined this team to work with like minded individuals to develop solutions to certain problems through the use of drones. As well as expanding his knowledge of drones and the many possibilities they have and the limitations that arises along the way. 

Michael del Valle

Intellectual Property Officer

Michael is a senior in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the UAV Service Learning Team in hopes of gaining experience in a professional setting whle applying the knowledge he has acquired throughout the years of attending UC Merced. Michale would also like to use this opportunity as a way of introducing concepts and gain experience in the UAV field in which he hopes to involve himself with throughout his hopeful career in the aerospace industry. 

Eduardo Diaz

Team Member

Eduardo Diaz is a first year student in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the Service Learning team in order to gain professional experience and knowledge in the field of UAVs. He hopes to one day work for a company in the aerospace industry. 

Nikolas Soria

Team Member

Nikolas Soria is a first year pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the Service Learning program to gain field knowledge and hands one experience in one of the pride and joys of this campus: the UAV team. One day, Nikolas hopes to further the research of synthetic organs.