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CSRA Makers

Members

Chris Williamson is a founding member of CSRA Makers. He has been around from the beginning and has been a huge asset to pushing everything forward. He currently sits as Vice President of SmartKids.SC, a non-profit group that helps with teaching others in the community and sharing knowledge.

Chris is also team leader of SpacePRIDE, a robotics team brought together to compete in the NASA Centennial Challenge Sample Return Rover. He has been working with robotics for over 10 years including Robot Wars, BattleBots, and various national and local robot competitions. He also helps to lead several robotics panels at Dragon*Con.

Over the past 3 years, Chris has mentored several F.I.R.S.T. teams, and is currently working with Silver Bluff's GearDogs #5551. Chris is a machinist by trade. His current job gives him easy access to materials and machinery with which he can design and create custom parts for all of his robots. He is a hard worker and a loyal employee and a fierce competitor.


Fred has been messing with computers ever since he could first type LOAD *,8,1; RUN. While currently employed as a web developer and senior system administrator his computing interests are wide-ranging: programming languages, distributed systems, databases, expert systems, network protocols, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and more. Though a novice at robotics, Fred is a long-time robot fanatic and looks forward to solving the hard computing problems that face the team.


Amanda has been involved for robotics for around 3 years. She teaches at a local high school, where she works mostly with high school seniors taking AP Calculus and College Prep Statistics. She and Chris work together mentoring a rookie FTC team. Although she is still very much a robot-builder-in-training, she has taken the official positions as SpacePRIDE's Social Media Director and Media Consultant, as well as providing unofficial website management and occasional Secretarial duties. Amanda is passionate about education and she really enjoys being able to apply this passion to the field of robotics. Amanda looks forward to helping with the build and the programming for future challenges that SpacePRIDE faces.


Eric R. Parker, AIA is the president of CONima Architects, as well as a co-founder of Hack Augusta and Renaissance Mill. Eric has worked with several of the top companies and institutions in the world including Mercedes-Benz Research and Development, Stanford University, Innovation Endeavors, and the Electric Power Research Institute. He is also the Architect of Innovation for SuperHappyBlockParty and Hackathon. Locally, he is a Co-Organizer of the CSRA Innovation Festival, Hack for Education, and the Augusta Hackathon, and serves on the Advisory Board for Technology Association of Georgia Greater Augusta, Augusta Greenway Alliance, and SmartKids.sc

His work has been published by the Stanford d.school in the book 'Make Space': How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration, and has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek.

He is currently working to bring the same culture of innovation and collaboration that benefited him in Silicon Valley to his hometown of Augusta. When he is not mentoring new startups, you will likely find him either at a CAD station or working on custom furniture and A/V displays.


My name is Russell L. Gray and I currently work as a Facility Manager for a bulk peptide manufacturer in North Augusta. I also have a BS in chemistry from USCA. I served in the South Carolina National Guard as a vehicle mechanic for 15 years with one year in Iraq.

My technical strength is in troubleshooting equipment failures and engineering solutions for production machinery. My chemistry knowledge helps me to understand production processes. Also with my background in mechanics I have unique perspective for production equipment design requirements.

Before working in production I was never able to grasp electrical systems. After witnessing the possibilities of industrial machine automation I was motivated to learn. However, I had failed in both college level and Army training courses. I gave up on the pursuit of learning how electricity worked until I started working with the Arduino platform. It provided a hands on approach that was easier for me to understand than what was presented to me in the classrooms. And

Most days I enjoy spending time in my garage tinkering with anything from small electronics to motorcycles. A few of my recent projects include the restoration of an 1988 Honda Shadow, Adafruit's data taker board for Arduino, and a remote controlled lawn mower. I will often choose to repair broken things like iPhones, air conditioners, or small engines over purchasing a new one or paying for a repair service. The choice often is more expensive and time consuming. However, I feel that trying and failing in such endeavors is an important part of life.


John Stewart was born and raised in Augusta, GA and has been fascinated with computers and programming from a young age. In 2009 he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Augusta State University and went to work as a programmer for TaxSlayer. Currently John is learning the Arduino platform and is looking forward to learning from others in the Makers group.