Joe Zanca

Joe ZancaJoe was one of the founding members of the team, joining in 2006. During his three years on the team he was very active and learned a lot about engineering. He helped work on the infamous 20 sided frame. He recently graduated from UMass Lowell and is now working at Orbit Research. We caught up with Joe to see how he is doing.

Years on Team

Joe talking to the judges which helped us win the Gracious Professionalism Award.

Joe talking to the judges at the Boston Regional which helped us win the Gracious Professionalism Award.

What are you currently doing?

I’m currently working at Orbit Research creating various products to help the visually disabled, such as talking calculators and mechanical braille displays. I’ve been using the same basic design, prototype, and assembly stages that I learned from FIRST Robotics. I started working at Orbit a year ago as an intern while I was pursuing my Master’s degree from UMass Lowell in Mechanical Engineering, but since I graduated in December my internship has become a full time job.

How has your experience with the team helped to get you to where you are now?

Robotics in High school was the reason that I decided to go into Mechanical Engineering in the first place. I’ve always enjoyed math and science but was never sure if I wanted to pursue it as a career until I was on the robotics team where I was able to apply knowledge that I learned to create something.

DSCF4293What was the most fun part about being part of the team?

I enjoyed having a big engineering project to work on with my friends. Most of my friends were on the team as well.

What has stuck with you from your experience on the team?

Tenacity to finish a task on time and exactly as the specifications required. Team work, problem solving. It was the first time I solved a real hands-on engineering project. I also remember Robert Pratt and I breaking a 1/2″ drill bit, not easy to do. Oh, well.