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Teams

NATHAN IBARRA – PROJECT MANAGER, PLATFORM TEAM

Nathan Ibarra is a second-year student striving to earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently the Project Manager of the UAS Engineering Service Learning Team. The previous semester Nathan was the Platform Team Leader because of his avid interest in future drone applications in everyday life. Nathan stayed on the UAS Team because he is determined to demonstrate his ability to lead the project as its new project manager toward its final design product. He saw this team as the best opportunity to further his experience in drone engineering and hopes to continue onward towards a future career in this field of aviation. 

 

SAMUEL LEVENTINI – ASSISTANT PROJECT MANAGER, PLATFORM TEAM

Samuel Leventini is a second year Mechanical Engineering student and the Assistant Project Manager of the UAV Drone team. Leventini has had a special interest in drones ever since he was first introduced to one that was taking pictures around the area of his family farm, and desires to put that interest into helping develop the UAV drone here at UC Merced. For his future plans, Leventini wants to continue working in the agriculture industry, either in the drone sectors or other ways that he can solve problems for the everyday farmer.  

 

ETHAN MURCIA - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICER, IMAGING TEAM 

Ethan Murcia is a second-year student, pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is the Intellectual Property Officer for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Engineering Service Learning team. Murcia chose this team because he has had prior experience in UAV flight and design which was exercised in an international UAV competition. He also felt very passionate about helping the local community with concepts he has learned and will have learned. Murcia is also a part of a team conducting research on pulse jet engines at the Mesa Labs. Through all this hands-on work, Murcia plans on taking the lessons learned and apply them to the aerospace industry.  

 

SPENCER RUDE - PROCUREMENT AND FINANCE OFFICER, PLATFORM TEAM

Spencer Rude is a second year Mechanical Engineering major, with hopes of pursuing a career in aeronautics. He is a member of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Engineering Service Learning team. He also has a passion for helping out the surrounding community with the knowledge and experiences he has acquired and continues to acquire as he continues his education at the University of California, Merced. Rude is also a member of the pulse jet research team at the Mesa Labs. With all this hands-on research, Rude plans on taking all his experiences and applying them in the aerospace industry. 

 

CHARLES WHITE – COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, IMAGING TEAM

Charles White is a third year Computer Science Engineering student and the Communications Officer of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Engineering Service Learning Team. Being part of this project provides him an opportunity to use his skills to make a positive impact in the community and expand his engineering skills. Academically, White is interested in creating games and simulations that expose people to environments they would not otherwise see. White hopes to be a world designer for a video game company. Currently White is the Vernal Pools Grassland Reserve intern, and would like to use his inter-disciplinary skills to create more accurate simulations and video game environments. 

 

DARSHAN BULSARA – WEB MASTER, IMAGING TEAM

Darshan Bulsara is a second-year Computer Science and Engineering Major focusing on machine learning and artificially intelligence. He is from San Francisco, California and he enjoys programming and reading books in his spare time. Bulsara is the Web Master and part of the imaging team of the Unmanned Aerial System’s team. He chose to be part of Engineering Service Learning program because he was interested in learning how autonomous vehicles are programmed. In addition, he also wanted to engage in a project that would benefit the community. Bulsara plans on using the skills he gains for Human Augmentation.

 

CHRIS VILLANUEVA – TEAM LEADER, IMAGING TEAM

Chris Villanueva is a fourth year Computer Science and Engineer student and the imaging team leader for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Team. Villanueva previously conducted image processing research under Professor Shawn Newsam in Summer 2017. The UAV team interested Villanueva because he would be able to apply his research experience to the team’s mission of detecting diseases in crops through image processing. In addition to that, he took the role as team leader in order to develop his technical leadership skills. Upon graduating UC Merced, Villanueva hopes to eventually become a mobile developer and continue to find ways how technology can benefit the larger society.  

 

MARCO E. MENDEZ – ASSISTANT PROJECT MANAGER, PLATFORM TEAM

Marco Mendez is a second year Mechanical Engineer. Mendez is the Assistant Project Manager of the Engineering Service Learning team UAV. Mendez has been involved in the development of UAVs since high school, he started building models from cardboard and later developed his first quadcopter out of carbon fiber. Which that gave him the opportunity to present his model at UCSD in a speech about robotics. Mendez is hoping that he can not only learn and help in this project but also leave knowledge that he has been gathering throughout the years.  

 

LUIS MURILLO – MEMBER, IMAGING TEAM 

Luis Murillo is a fourth year, mechanical engineering major student attending UC Merced. Murillo is a member and part of the platform group for Engineering Service Learning team, UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems). He has been involved in computer aided design of pneumatic tools and currently holds a provisional patent. He joined this team to improve his skills in hardware engineering and gain hands on experience. He is interested in obtaining a career in the automotive industry in order to develop further experience into engineering. 

 

MICHAEL CALDERON – MEMBER, PLATFORM TEAM

Michael Calderon is a third year Mechanical Engineering student. Calderon is a member of the Pierce’s Disease Detection System, Engineering Service Learning project, where he is working to automate flight plans of agricultural drones. As a Kern county resident, Calderon knows the importance of agriculture in one’s community and has joined the Unmanned Aerial System Engineering Service Learning team as a way of giving back to the agricultural community. Additionally, Calderon hopes to learn real world experience to help further improve himself so that he could use those skills that he learned to good use. 

 

 JULIAN RODRIGUEZ – MEMBER, IMAGING TEAM

Julian Rodriguez is a fourth year Computer Science and Engineering major from San Diego, California. With his love for engineering, he is an active member of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Engineering Service Learning team. Rodriguez enjoys spending time outdoors and playing sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball. He decided to join the UAV team to further his knowledge about drones, and to strengthen his teamwork skills. Rodriguez has always had a passion for giving back to his community. Working with UAV was a great opportunity for him to be able to give back to the Merced community. 

 

JEFFREY NG - MEMBER, IMAGING TEAM

Jeffrey Ng is a first year student pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Engineering. Ng is a member of the Pierce’s Disease Detection System, Engineering Service Learning project. As a city person, Ng has a strong curiosity for nature and agriculture and has joined the Unmanned Aerial System Engineering Service Learning team to improve agricultural yield as well as gaining practical, real-world experience. Ng hopes to gain valuable skills that will serve as a foundation for his career. Ng is passionate about computer science; he works hard to learn new techniques to improve in academics and extracurricular.