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April 2012 Meeting Thursday, April 19 in Roanoke

VMI Team Presentation (22 MB Powerpoint)



Every year, the Region 3 Student Conference is held in conjunction with SoutheastCon. The highlight of the student conference is the hardware contest and, in March this year, it was held in Orlando, Florida. Student teams from throughout IEEE Region 3 designed autonomous robots and competed in the contest.

The objective of the 2012 contest was to produce an autonomous robot that traversed a course making electrical and temperature measurements. Teams were awarded points for robots that made correct decisions based on the measurements. The Virginia Tech and Virginia Military Institute teams will report on their robot designs and performances in the contest.

VMI Team Biography

The robotics team from Virginia Military Institute is composed of First Class (Senior) Cadets all majoring in electrical and computer engineering.

Thomas A. Kendzia III is from Doswell, Virginia and is currently seeking employment in the robotics, power, or defense industry.

William C. Baber is from Glen Allen, Virginia and upon graduation will be entering the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program.

Joakim K. Kiprotich is a native of Eldoret, Kenya and is currently seeking employment in the power and green energy fields.

Timothy M. Graziano is from Bealeton, Virginia and after graduation will be entering the Army as an infantry officer.

David Wagner is a native of Mooresville, North Carolina and plans on commissioning into the Air Force upon graduation. David will be stationed at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, doing developmental engineering work.

VT Team Biographies

Nathaniel Bishop is a senior in Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. Originally from Covesville VA; he has been involved with the IEEE Robotics team for 3 years. He has lead the software division of the team in previous years and the overall team with the help of Chris Arnold this year. He will be Graduating from Virginia Tech this semester to begin work in the private sector.

Chris Arnold is a Senior Mechanical Engineering Student also perusing a Computer Science Minor. I have a great interest in robotics and automation. Over the past four years he has been on multiple robotics design teams including; the IEEE Hardware Team, ASME Design Challenge team, and DARwIn-OP in RoMeLa.

Matthew Hartman is a junior in the computer engineering program at Virginia Tech. He has been involved with the IEEE Robotics Team for two years. He is a Roanoke native, but has enjoyed the time he has spent in Blacksburg and will certainly return after graduation. This summer, he will be participating in an internship with Microsoft. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in computer engineering.

Zeid Ayssa Is a transfer student from Northern Virginia community college. He transferred to Virginia Tech in the fall 2010. He started as an Electrical engineer, but then after noticing how programming can take my circuit design to another level, he decided to add Computer engineering as a second major. Add to that, those two majors will give him the set of skills that will enable me to fulfill his dream. He will get his Electrical degree this fall, and hopefully his Computer Engineering degree the following spring.

Will Walton is a junior mechanical engineer from Falls Church, VA. He got interested in robotics in high school, through the FIRST Robotics program, and that has carried through and continued since coming to Tech.

Matt Russiello is a junior in Mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. He is from Northern Virginia and attended James Madison High School. When deciding on colleges he chose Virginia Tech for the comfortable student environment as well as the relevant majors that it offered. " [for] My whole life I have been tired of being ignorant about how things work, cars, robots, and even children's toys, so I decided I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineering major. Over the past few years of engineering courses I found that I was really interested in robotics and electronics so I joined the IEEE robotics team in an effort to broaden my horizons. It was a great experience and taught me a lot about teamwork. I plan to graduate next May."

Meeting Details:
Thursday April 19, 2012
Social: 6:30 PM
Dinner: 7:00 PM
Talk: 8:00 PM
Members & Guests $20.00, Students $10.00

Holiday Inn - Roanoke Valley View (click here for map)
3315 Ordway Drive
Roanoke, Virginia

Directions to Holiday Inn - Roanoke Valley View:
I-581, Exit 3
Hershberger Rd West
1st Right onto Ordway Drive, ¼ mile,
Right into parking lot.

Please contact Joe Hartwell or John Dilley (540-443-2800 ext. 8607) to make reservations by 5 PM, Monday, April 16, 2012 and specify the number of attendees.


An Invitation for IEEE VMS members

The Blue Ridge Chapter of AIA, The American Institute of Architects, has invited IEEE VMS members to their networking event,

“Spring Time in the Mountains”
A Green Continuing Education event for SWVA Construction Professionals

Date: Thursday, May 24, 2011, 5:30 -9:00 PM.
Location: The Vinton War Memorial, 814 Washington Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179
Cost: $20 for members and guest
Registration (available May 1)

AIA CE units and GBCI ERB approved credits for LEED AP Credential Maintenance Program will be offered, for an additional fee.

For more information:

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The Virginia Mountain Section (VMS) of the IEEE has been serving members in the Southwest corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1949.

We currently have two Student Branches in local universities and colleges:

  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech

and the VMS Consultants Network Affinity Group

The purpose of this Affinity Group is to share information concerning consulting opportunities, and to make a list of consultants and their areas of expertise available to potential employers.

Anyone wishing to be added to this group, or desiring more information should contact David Livingston,

Information about our Section, the Chapters, and material of interest to our members may be found by selecting items in the left column of this page.

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(last modified: November 4, 2012 )