Coaches and Mentors


My name is Caroline and I'm a non-technical Mentor for Nerd Spark. I have mentor experience at the FLL and FTC levels and am excited to learn all about FRC alongside my fellow mentors and teammates. In my day job I'm the Executive Director of INNOVATE Albion and love bringing FIRST robotics to the greater Albion area. When not thinking about STEM Education, I love supporting small businesses, building my Albion community, spending time at the gym and spending time with my family.


Hi, I'm Devin,  I've been involved with FRC since 2018. I am a programming mentor. I have experience with mainly LabVIEW but I'm a computer science major at Albion College so I also have some experience in Java, python, javascript, HTML, CSS, and R. In my free time I enjoy aerial photography/cinematograph, skeet shooting, and working on cars and bikes. 


Call me Coach Elmer. I've coached FIRST teams for the past 10 years, 5 years in FLL, 5 years in FTC and 8 years in FRC. The most gratifying moments have been watching students do what they thought were impossible and then realize that nothing is impossible with enough grit. I would love to say that I have other hobbies, but it's just robotics. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a job, a family and a community I can share my passion with. I have 3 stories that have defined my life. If you stick around long enough, you might get to hear all 3 of them. Look out world, here comes NERD Spark.


My name is Audrey. I’ve coached FLL as well as FTC in the past. My favorite activities are spending time with my family and curling up with a good book. I help coach the leadership activities. I am looking forward to helping build this new team!


Hi, my name is Tyler. I have been involved with FRC since 2014, first as a student in high school and now mentor. I primarily mentor mechanical design, assembly, and electrical in addition to sharing the role of drive coach during competition. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, doing all things car-related, and of course, FRC robotics!


Hi, My name is Robert. I have 17 years of mechanical engineering experience. I was a coach during Albion’s 2022 season of FTC. This will be my first year coaching on an FRC team which I am excited to be involved in. Robotics has always been an interest of mine and I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge and helping mentor teammates. Some additional interests of mine consist of modifying vehicles, programming, and woodworking.


My name is Vinay. I was involved with coaching FLL and FTC  in the past few years. I look forward to helping with Programming with the FRC team. I like reading and hiking/biking


System.out.prntln("Hello World");  My name is Ben.  I've been a programming mentor for the past 4 years in FTC, and looking forward to my first year in FRC.  It's been really exciting to see the students learn about programming, control system theory, autonomous motion, path planning, computer vision, etc.  Also, I've been really impressed at how the FIRST community collaborates to advance technology development together. When not programming and testing robots, I enjoy spending time with my family and mountain biking.


​​Hi. My name is Lance. I've been involved with FRC as a mentor coach since 2013. I have partnered with Coach Elmer prior to Nerd Spark. I will help with field build, and other places as needed. I am a retired teacher, and a current business owner.


Hello, my name is Steve.  I have been involved in FLL and FTC, as my daughter Elisa participated. 

My background is in electrical & computer engineering, robotics and controls.  This will be my first year coaching FRC.  I would love to mentor in the programming and electrical area.  I enjoy spending time learning with my family, traveling around the world and learning new things.


Hey! My name is Osias, I started in FIRST as a student in highschool, and now I'm a mentor. I am working towards my Journeyman's card in Tool & Die at TAC Mfg. And I commit a lot of my free time to helping teach machining and welding. I am excited to help teach as much as I can about my trade.


Hi, my name is David. I was involved with FRC in 2022. I have been involved in FIRST since JrFLL.  I help around the team in any area I can. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, going camping, fishing or relaxing.


​​My name is Prathima and I am a non-technical mentor, primarily coaching the leadership team. I have been involved with FIRST for 7 years serving as a mentor and a volunteer. This is my first year coaching in FRC.

The best part of being a mentor is watching the team members grow a strong bond and friendship over the season (and beyond).

In my free time I enjoy crocheting and gardening. I am eagerly looking forward to my first year of FRC.


I am Alan and this is my second-year mentoring FRC. I have been a coach, mentor or involved parent since First Lego League as my children progressed through the years. I worked as a machinist and currently work in Information Technology.  I have been involved in building multiple homes. I enjoy construction, electronics, hunting, and recycling. I am excited to guide this rookie team to experience the next level of coopertition in design, field, build, and drive.


My name is Misty. I have mentored for 2 years with the FTC and I am excited for my first season of mentoring with FRC for leadership. I enjoy planning vacations & traveling with my family. In my downtime, I enjoy my heated blanket, reading a good book, or watching a good series.  I enjoy working with Cricut and tapping into my creative side. My least favorite thing to do is cook.


I am Rhonda. I have been involved in FIRST programs for the last eight years. This is my second year with FRC. I help with anything non-technical and love watching the students work together and learn new things.  I am looking forward to a wonderful season and cannot wait to see what this collaborative team can achieve!  In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family.


Hi, my name is Indu and I have been a FIRST coach and mentor for 6 years starting at Jr. FLL. This is my first experience mentoring at the FRC level. I love being a part of FIRST and everything it has to offer. In my spare time I like to read and listen to music. My favorite things to do include golfing and skiing with my family.


Hi everyone, I am Indika joining NERD Spark as a mentor. I have some prior experience mentoring FRC teams from few years back. I currently work for Ford where I work with computer models of electrified vehicles. I have previously worked at robotics labs as a postdoctoral researcher. I look forward to working with the team! 


Hello, I am Shehan Haputhanthri. I am joining NERD Spark as a programming mentor. I completed my PhD in mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University in 2016 and joined Ford shortly afterwards. I am working on electrified vehicle lineup there. My JAVA programming experience is limited  but I have experience on other programming languages.


Hi! I am Ravi. I have been a coach since 2018. 1 year of FLL, 1 year at Robofest. I formed and headed a new team in FTC, and currently being a head coach for 2nd consecutive year. I am a hands-on Programmer. What I enjoy the most is teaching core concepts to kids, give a little direction then sit back and relax to watch the surprise on how quick children grasp the knowledge and implement it on their own. They get to the point where I think "How did they do this?"