2014-2015 Team Members
I'm a computer engineering student. Some of my interests include writing code and tinkering with electronics. Although I'm indoors most of the time, I sometimes like to go out and get some sunlight once in a while.
Andrew is currently a senior in the BSME department at SJSU. Andrew is interested in studying the design and manufacturing process of mechanisms and products. He seeks to gain invaluable technical experience working on the large scale SMSSV project with a sizable team.
Brian Glaros is a graduating senior pursuing a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. With an emphasis in design, Brian has always been interested in designing something towards creating a greener future. Thus, ample time has been devoted to learning about alternative energy technologies that have the capability of benefiting society and creating a greener future. When presented the opportunity to become involved in the SMSSV project, there was no hesitation for Brian to pursue and become an active member in the ongoing project. Representative of both an exciting and challenging area of study, the SMSSV project will allow Brian the opportunity to expand both his communication and leadership skills while granting him the opportunity to work alongside and collaborate with a team of engineering students of diverse backgrounds.Outside of school and academic study, Brian enjoys sports such as basketball and football. In addition, Brian enjoys weight lifting and cycling both for the love of the sport and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Brian plans to continue weightlifting and cycling in the coming years after graduation in May, 2015.
Carl Tubis is a graduating senior at San Jose State University earning a bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering. Carl holds a management position for the Spartan Superway team and is a member of the solar design and power distribution team. Carl has held an internship position at a circuit company where he provided assistance on the assembly line in constructing circuit boards for various builds. There he was able to communicate between different departments as well as deliver guidance to other technicians and project managers. In his spare time, Carl enjoys spending time with his family, and cycling.
Cheng-Hsien Liu is a senior at SJSU, majoring in Mechanical engineering with a focus on Mechatronics. With the interest in concept of hyper loop, Cheng-Hsien joined the Spartan Superway project. He believes the project has potential to make huge impacts on current transit system and solve several issues. Through the involvement of the SMSSV project, in addition to gain more hand-on experience on fabricating full scale models, Cheng-Hsien hopes he can expand his knowledge of control systems and mechatronics designs.
Christopher spent 5 years in the Marine Corps infantry. After separating from active duty he went to San Jose City College and then transferred to San Jose State University in Spring 2012. He is currently studying mechanical engineering with an emphasis in mechatronics. Christopher is currently employed by the San Jose State University Research Foundation as a research assistant. He has been married for 7 years and has a 2 year old daughter. After graduation in Spring 2015, he hopes to find work at a large company like Lockheed Martin or Tesla. He eventually plans to own his own small business and teach.
Daniel Torrefranca is a computer engineering student at SJSU. With the rise in population of the Bay Area, mainly in the Silicon Valley region, Daniel joined the SMSSV team to be a part of the continued research and development of a personal rapid transit system. Daniel is a part of the controls team focusing on the automated system design which includes the communication of the main control hub to the pods, and pod controls. One of his goals through this project is to learn and apply both current and newly acquired knowledge to a "real-world" situation. Daniel recently worked for VSP Global under their Information Security division in which he led the creation and implementation of automated user provisioning and access controls. Some of his hobbies and interests include cycling, running, photography, recreational shooting sports, playing various instruments, backpacking, hiking, and cars.
Daniel Northen is a mechanical engineering undergraduate at San Jose State University. He has joined the SMSSV team in order to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable transportation system that may be applied in the Bay Area. He also hopes to gain further insight into the subject areas of controls and mechanical design by participating in the project. Outside of school he works as a junior mechanical engineer at a small start up company and enjoys all things outdoors.
Danny Ornellas is a senior Mechanical Engineering student at San Jose State University. Danny joined SMSSV because he saw it as an opportunity to be a part of something truly revolutionary and would be able to make a real contribution to society. In addition to team member, Danny is also serving as the SMSSV club treasurer. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in robotics, specifically in the emerging field of exoskeleton suits. Outside of academics, Danny enjoys hiking, camping, airsofting, building robots, and playing the trombone.
Derek Lee is a Mechanical Engineering major at San Jose State University. He has always been interested in cutting edge technology and transportation. The SMSSV project combines both of his passions in a unique concept that he recalls seeing on the cover of Popular Science magazine that he would like to see in real life.
I am Senior ME student in SJSU and I have an AA degree in Manufacturing and Production. Besides school, I am currently working for a Manufacturing company named Celestica. There, I am on the Quality Assurance team and I am responsible for helping improve the standards base on ISO 9001, prevent the potential non-conformances and flaws in the production process, inspection and analysis of the data using QA procedures.
Jack Irwin is currently a senior in the BSME program at San Jose State. He is a member of the full scale prototype team and team lead on bogey development. Jack is also currently working as an intern developing medical device technology. He joined the team because he saw tremendous need for alternative transportation solutions in Silicon Valley. Jack brings with him experience in welding, machining and other manufacturing processes. He also worked as an intern in the solar industry for two years. Jack really enjoys building things and working with his hands. When he is not working or studying he enjoys mountain biking, motocross and golf.
Jacqueline Cordero is studying Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. She has a passion and motivation for helping others. In the past she has volunteered at Relay For Life an American Cancer Society Event and Washington Hospital. Jacqueline has a total of two years work experience at City of Hayward City Hall and Vantage Technology. As she is wrapping up her senior year, she is interning at Santa Clara Valley Water District. As a team manager, Jacqueline is responsible for the planning, structure and management of the team. In addition, she is also working with Spartan Superway’s solar team to complete the design and preform analysis. In her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys cooking, running, and spending time with her family.
Jake Pichel is a Mechanical Engineering student at San Jose State University with a graduation date scheduled for Spring 2015. He has experience in the Consumer Product Industry where he helped designed and help prototype several consumer products. His Skills include: CAD, C programming, 3D printing, schematics, electronic's debugging and repair, and control system design. As an officer in the California ETA chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a multidisciplinary engineering honors society which is composed of students with outstanding character as well as superior academic performance, his contributions as the Industry Coordinator Officer has connected several engineering students with local Tech Industry. He is currently the Project Coordinator for TBP, in which he oversee's 2 large group interdisciplinary projects. He is also holds the Mechatronic Lead position in the Spartan Superway Project.
Jared Besson is a student enrolled in San Jose State University's Mechanical Engineering program. Jared was drawn to the Spartan Superway project because of the potential impact it can have on the design and production of future transportation systems. He is interested in the large scale of this project and the communication it will require between all of the different project teams. During this project, Jared would like to help generate interest in the Superway concept. Outside of school, Jared enjoys working hard, spending time outdoors, and traveling. After graduation, he hopes to enter the work force as an engineer working for a large company; possibly being positioned outside of the country. After gaining some experience he would like to return to school to begin work in a Master's Program.
John Fidel is a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at SJSU. He strives to take advantage of alternate energy technologies to improve our health, economy, and climate. When the opportunity arose to jump aboard the Spartan Superway project, he couldn't wait to get involved. While working on this project, John hopes to gain experience in design and machining, while demonstrating his strong leadership and teamwork skills. During his free time, John enjoys volunteering for the STEM program in which he teaches technology based concepts and inspires the younger generation to pursue engineering careers.
Jordan Carter is a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's student at San Jose State University. Previous to joining SMSSV, Jordan had an internship at Mountz Torque. Jordan became interested in the SMSSV project because of it's innovative way to ease traffic, and its potential for local implementation. She has some CAD experience from school and her internship, and she hopes to put that to good use for the project.
Kyle Dutra is currently a senior at SJSU in the BSME program. Kyle, a member of the SMSSV team, is focused on the heat transfer and solar power for the project. He is also focused on the full scale fabrication of the cabin. Kyle works well with others and is a good leader. He played for the San Jose State Ice Hockey team for five years and was the team captain for his last three. This project especially caught his interest because he commutes to school every day. He believes there needs to be faster and more efficient public transportation for everyone. This project could help solve a lot of traffic issues in big cities. After graduation, he plans on working in HVAC.
Matthew Lewinsky is a San Jose State University Mechanical Engineering senior with a concentration in Mechatronics. With a strong interest in hobbyist electronics, Matthew is a member of the Spartan Superway Controls team. As a commuting student who has taken VTA to campus for the last four years, the potential of the Spartan Superway was too large to not take part in the project. Since 2013, Matthew has worked as a Design Engineer Intern for SSL in Palo Alto, working with an interdisciplinary department of mechanical and electrical engineers designing RF electronics and packaging for commercial satellites. Matthew has a passion for digital education and awareness of a wide variety of technical fields and subjects. As a long time follower of the Maker movement, much of Matthew's free time is used to learn about topics ranging from woodworking and 3D printing to computer science and physics.
Matthew Yee is a senior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is excited to be a part of the SMSSV project, contributing to the design team in particular. With a previous internship at Kellogg's Eggo Company, he has unique experiences in manufacturing and plant engineering. He is now interning at Zeta instruments, a company that designs and builds optical profilers as well as defect inspection systems. The SMSSV project provides a great opportunity for Matthew to utilize his acquired skills and learn from his team.
Natalie Granados is a senior Mechanical Engineering student at SJSU. Her aptitude in math and science, and love of fixing and making things encouraged her to pursue a career in engineering. She joined the SMSSV project because of her interest in vehicles, and found this to be a great opportunity to explore a new concept in transportation. She previously interned at Northrop Grumman, where she worked alongside system safety engineers on analyzing the safety and ergonomics of designs. She enjoys working as an Instructional Student Assistant at SJSU because it allows her to share her skills with others to help them succeed. She hopes to explore new opportunities in Mechatronics. Her other interests include sports, video games, health & fitness, and music. She enjoys cycling and various other outdoor activities that allow her to enjoy natural environments.
Oscar is pursuing a bachelor's in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in Mechatronics systems at San Jose State University. Through a past internship at KLA-Tencor, Oscar was able to gain invaluable experience in mechanical design, as well as a scope of an engineer's role in society. He joined the SMSSV team because he saw contributions made to this effort would positively impact the safety of both humankind and the environment in which it resides. Oscar is also interested in microcontrollers, cars, and playing tennis.
I a graduating senior in BSME. I decided to study ME because i wanted to help contribute in making a better future with technology. I choose this for my senior project because it is paving a new path to the future in transportation. My capstone is in thermodynamics because i want to be able to be more efficient in the way energy is used by society. I am hopeful that when i graduate i can use the knowledge i have gained to make us more effective with energy by either finding new ways to use energy that are more effective or improve the existing technology used right now.
Pavel Smrz is a Mechanical Engineering student at San Jose State University. He chose the Mechatronics emphasis because it is the perfect marriage of mechanical, electrical, and programming that keeps projects interesting. Pavel chose the Spartan Superway project to get exposure to a real, large scale project that involves many disciplines. His philosophy is that one should never stop learning because it keeps the brain sharp and work interesting. Outside of school, Pavel swims competitively in the pool and in open water events. He also enjoys road and mountain biking. He brings a strong background in CADD and is interested in the the bogie design and control, track design, and system control. He feels that the Superway project has the potential to create a better society and future.
Ryan Luc is a senior BSME major at San Jose State University.Ryan joined the SSMV to support his dream of being able to run errands across town without experiencing the stresses associated with driving a one ton death machine. As a member of the Controls team, Ryan hopes to complete a fully functional scaled down model.
Tobias Gardner is a graduating senior in San Jose State's Mechanical Engineering program. His focus of study is mechanical design, with interests in computer aided design, and finite element analysis. His love of adventure sports is what initially drew him to engineering, from a background in IT, and construction. His engineering experience is limited to working at a manufacturing company in the silicon valley, where the importance of designing for manufacturability, and cost, was demonstrated on a constant basis. He was drawn to this project due to the large scope, and possibility to contribute to a positive change in the world.
Vaibhav Tank is a member of the Controls Team on the Superway Project. He is a senior at San Jose State University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Mechatronics. Vaibhav was interested in working on the Spartan Superway project because he was drawn to the wide scope and the opportunity to work and learn from mentors in the industry. He wanted to work on an inter-disciplinary project to get more exposure to real-world projects. As a student who uses public transportation to get to school, he was also drawn by the desire to improve his commute experience. Outside of school, he likes to play soccer, volleyball, and the piano. He also enjoys thrilling adventures and cannot wait for his second skydive!
Dr. Burford Furman
Buff is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at San Jose State University, where he has been affiliated since 1994. He is also a registered professional engineer in the state of California in mechanical engineering since 1984. Prior to arriving at SJSU, he worked at IBM in San Jose in the development of disk drive actuators and spindle motors. He has also been a consultant in the optomechanical and laboratory automation industries. His areas of teaching and research are focused primarily in Automated Transit Networks, mechatronics, precision machine design, and engineering measurements.
Ron Swenson is co-founder of INIST, the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation, and advisor to the Spartan Superway, with emphasis on solar energy and mechanical systems. He has been amazed by the continuing progress since INIST sponsored the Solar Skyways Challenge prize which was awarded to the Spartan Superway team at the 7th annual Podcar City conference in Washington DC in 2013. Ron's company Swenson Solar has developed a number of commercial solar systems. In the 1990s he co-founded Tonatiuh, Mexico's solar race car team which competed in the USA and Australia. In the 1960's he taught mechanical design, computer programming, and cybernetic systems in the Engineering School at San Jose State. He holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and plays old timey songs on the banjo.
Mr. Ellis is a project manager for the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation. He co-authored the Solar Skyways Challenge, which spurred ATN focused projects at Uppsala University and San Jose State University. Having never owned a car, he is a committed public transportation rider as well as researcher. He holds degrees in physics and mathematics and has educated youth for over ten years. Within ATN research, his efforts have been broad, with contributions to the development of many subsystems, from routing algorithms to urban planning and drivetrain mechanics.
Paul has worked for several medical device startup and larger companies in Silicon Valley over the past 15 years, including Boston Scientific, BD Biosciences, Aerogen, Nex-ray, Mission Medical and Polyremedy. Prior to that he worked at Abbott, Hospital Products division, developing drug infusion pumps for the hospital critical care market. Founder and director of product design for Albulet Design, LLC, Paul now consults with high tech companies in Silicon Valley providing product design, design for manufacturing, and industrial design. Paul is providing mentoring support in Solidworks and design for manufacturing to the teams on the Spartan Superway project. Paul has a BS degree in mechanical engineering from University of California, Davis and a BS degree in industrial design from San Jose State University. When not doing product development, Paul enjoys mountain bike riding and nature photography.
Bryan has spent most of his professional career at Microsoft as part of their ASIC Research and Development efforts managing large scale engineering compute farms while leading teams supporting Microsoft's hardware related engineering efforts.In addition to his professional efforts, Bryan instructs at SJSU in the Mechanical Engineering department and has been involved in the Personal Rapid Transit efforts & the Spartan Superway since its inception.
Anuradha Munshi is Founder and President at SunDraft Energy Inc. and also serves as Program Advisor for Smart Energy Enterprise Development (SEEDZ) initiative at Joint Venture Silicon Valley. She brings her knowledge, expertise and experience working with academia, government and corporate industry experts to the SMSSV project as a mentor helping students design innovative transit solutions that include integration with renewable sources like solar.Anuradha has more than 10 years of experience in the building construction and energy industry. Prior to joining Joint Venture Silicon Valley, she was the Energy Lead with Sustainable Silicon Valley where she managed research projects and led the energy content development team for the EcoCloud social media platform. She is also an architect, with experience managing multiple large-scale commercial building construction projects. Anuradha's education portfolio includes Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies program at Stanford University, a major in Energy Management and Climate Policy, Project Management and a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Pune in India.
Lizie Michel is a computer engineer from Bolivia, now living in California. She began working in solar in 2000 doing a solar system in a remote village in the Amazon of Bolivia to power a computer center. As a result of this project she became interested in sustainable solutions because of the social impact on the environment, the coming oil crisis and global warming. She can contribute by developing a solar transportation network within Young ISES, reaching out to entities focused on this field and organizing technical interchange.
Max is in his final semester at SJSU, getting a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. On the 2013-14 team, he was the Bogie Team Lead, and now he is assisting the Superway Project as a Mentor. Max is primarily excited about two ME subjects: Renewable Energy and Product Design. Both interests converge in the Superway project, which is why he has chosen to remain involved. In addition to engineering topics, he is interested in brand identity, interface design, and philosophy. On his off days, Max enjoys cars almost as much as he enjoys driving them. Three pedals are a necessity, and he’ll easily burn away 8 gallons of gas on a good day, and end up right back where he started. He’d rather spend his gas money carving up backroads than commuting, in traffic, to work.