November 14, 2018

Meet Our Team!

Team VERTEX has members from all around the world! Keep scrolling to meet our team, listed in alphabetical order!

Umphaipun (Panda) Atipunumphai
Outreach

Panda is a Senior at Phillips Exeter Academy from Bangkok, Thailand. She has a passion for spreading STEM to her community through different initiatives. She founded Computer Science Summer Courses in Thailand, which includes courses targeted to girls and underprivileged kids in Bangkok. She also taught an online course in collaboration with MAC education Thailand and NUADU Australia. She is also the current co-head of Girls in STEM club at Phillips Exeter Academy. She joined Vertex last year as a rookie member working on CAD, graphic design, and community outreach events. This year she is looking forward to continuing to  learn about robotics and engage with the FIRST community.



Penny Brant
Head of Human Resources

Penny is an 12th grader at Phillips Exeter Academy, her passion for computer science is shown through her various projects on campus to convenient student life - some working with FTC robots! She has had plenty of experience with robotics through FLL, FTC, ROV MATE, VEX and SeaPerch and is very excited to work on VERTEX as the chief programmer. Penny loves to spread her passion for robotics and STEM - she is a coach of the FLL team at the University of New Hampshire and has taught over 1000 girls around China the basics of JAVA and EV3 programming through her non-profit initiative WeHack2.

Joseph Chen
Outreach

Coming from Los Angeles, California, Joseph is a junior studying at Phillips Exeter. He's interested in a joint exploration of business, entrepreneurship, and engineering. With that interest, he has delved into the world of startups, by creating two of his own as well as working for a breakthrough fin-tech startup back home. Through FTC, he hopes to learn more about programming and engineering with the team, while playing his strengths in communication and organization to contribute through community outreach. On campus, he co-leads the Exeter Business Club and an entrepreneurship club, while promoting sustainable practices through the Environmental Action Club and his role as an E-proctor!



Neil Chowdhury
Head of Programming

Neil Chowdhury is a tenth grade student at Phillips Exeter Academy. Neil has started robotics in fifth grade with FIRST Lego League, where he led a team of 5 students. In addition, his FTC team from Washington received the Interleague Championship Finalist Alliance award and participated in the state level competition. Neil is thrilled to continue doing Robotics with Team VERTEX and is happy to bring the robot to life with his programming skills.

Tanya Das
Outreach

Tanya is a sophomore. In the past, she was the captain of her MATE and SeaPerch teams in the past and has placed at international competitions. She has built many  ROVs and designed CADs, but this is her first time doing FTC. Tanya loves STEM outreach! With her old team, she’d organize summer tech camps for elementary and middle school students and bring ROVs to every community event. She looks forward to working with the team this year!



Kai Lockwood
Outreach

Kai is an 11th grade at Phillips Exeter, this is their second year on the Outreach team. Kai has participated in every level of FIRST except FLL Jr. and has worked on a Destination Imagination Set Design team. Kai has an interest in their future using their skills to help others through working with prosthetics. Kai has recently perused this by participating in mechanical engineering and AI camps at Princeton and Johns Hopkins. In the meantime Kai is excited about the large diversity of ideas this team will bring to the FTC Skystone challenge. 



Celine Tan
Head of Outreach

Celine is currently a tenth grader at Phillips Exeter, and this is her second year on the team. Last year, she worked mainly on CAD, and later, the Engineering Notebook. She began as a rookie with little to no robotics experience, but a passion for anything computer-related -- Celine once taught a computer to count worms, and because of it, was invited to the annual meeting of the American Junior Academy of Sciences. This year, she’s looking forward to expanding the scope of VERTEX’s community outreach activities. She’s incredibly grateful for the opportunity to join an FTC team that being at Exeter has given her, and hopes to spread her love of everything FIRST stands for to the local community!



Zach Teagarden
Outreach + Mechanical

Zach is a new sophomore at Phillips Exeter Academy. Zach has three years of mechanical experience and has been programming in a multitude of languages since 2017. In early 2019, Zach and his local robotics team placed at the Hawaii State VEX EDR Robotics Competition. Zach worked as one of the lead design members as well as an assistant programmer. Zach has made attempts to work in the STEM field since he was young and recently worked as an intern at the Institute For Astronomy, Maui. During his internship, Zach was given the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how telescopes are designed and programmed. Zach was also able to view designs for the new Exolife Finder Observatory. Zach is looking forward to working as both a mechanical team member and outreach member and hopes that his roles will prove to be beneficial to the team.



Isabella Vesely
Outreach

Isabella is a freshman at Phillips Exeter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and this is her first year with VERTEX robotics. She was first introduced to the world of robotics and engineering by virtue of a self-initiated Lego Mindstorms project with friends in fourth grade. She was then an active part of all the robotics teams her school offered; throughout middle school, she participated in MATE’s ROV competition and was an active part of the FLL, FTC, and FRC teams. Last year, she was primarily involved with mechanical design but also composed the Engineering notebook. This year, through FTC and VERTEX robotics, she looks forward to fuel her interest for both mechanical design and outreach! 



Vincent Xiao
Head of Mechanical

With over 6 years of mechanical experience, Vincent, 15, is our Lead Mechanical Designer. In addition to having participated in all levels of FIRST and VEX robotics, Vincent has also built robots for the SeaPerch and ROV MATE underwater competitions. His robot designs have won numerous regional and state championships and has competed at the world championship six times. Vincent doesn’t just enjoy doing robotics - he loves to spend time helping others; having coached multiple VEX IQ, FLL, and VEX EDR teams. He is also a counselor, manager, referee, and judge for multiple STEM related programs and competitions. Vincent is very excited to continue doing robotics here on VERTEX as the Mechanical Lead.



Nico Gallo
Mentor

Mr. Gallo earned a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of New Hampshire, where he worked on interdisciplinary projects that crossed boundaries among math, sculpture, programming, music and visual arts. He maintains a studio in the Port City Makerspace, where he and a partner create products for industrial, commercial and artistic communities under the name Portsmouth Industrial Design. He plays the vibraphone and other mallet percussion instruments, and in the Design Lab, he often works on his own projects, which include making and modifying musical instruments. 



Sean Campbell
Mentor

Mr. Campbell was originally from Katy Texas, and ever since the beginning of his education career, he has been dedicated to using technical knowledge to inspire students for creating meaningful projects. He teaches a range of topics in Computer science from introductory java to advanced app creation and data visualization. Additionally, he is the club advisor for ECC (Exeter Computing Club) and organizes the annual middle school hackathon HackExeter for people in the Exeter community. In his community, Mr. Campbell is very amiable and approachable to all students and always open to helping them to pursue new and innovative ideas.