Did you know DENSO has associates dedicated to coaching students participating in FIRST Robotics? Alex Dengate, a quality engineer in Southfield, Michigan, is one of these associates.
Alex’s interest in engineering sparked when he joined his high school’s FIRST Robotics team. Now, when he’s not programming in our Quality Engineering department, he goes back to his old school to coach the students who are now running the team.
“I actually went to Waterford Kettering and graduated in 2009,” said Alex. “My senior year was the first year that our school participated in the FIRST Robotics program, and I was on that team. FIRST Robotics is what really pushed me to want to learn about technical studies. Now, I’m a mechanical engineer by schooling who does programming as my main job. Ultimately, we are helping the kids become more successful individuals and having fun while doing it.”
“FIRST is challenging and a lot of fun,” said Alex. “Every year it’s a new game, and challenges everyone to think outside the box. Overall, FIRST is just a great experience. For the kids, we are greatly accelerating their learning curve in manufacturing, engineering, programming and mathematics. It’s an opportunity for them to gain new skill sets that support both individual growth and teamwork. These are the kids that will be working in the technical fields of the future. The kids in FIRST Robotics today, will be the people solving the world’s biggest problems ten years from now.”
The FIRST Robotics team that Alex mentors is one of nine DENSO sponsored teams competing in this year’s FIRST Robotics World Competition in Detroit, Michigan.
Alex recently moved positions at DENSO. Previously, he was a field quality engineer who worked to detect potential quality issues and find solutions. Now, he’s a senior quality information systems analyst who develops software systems to help make DENSO’s Quality Engineering department more proactive, quicker in detecting quality issues, and overall more efficient than it is today.
About FIRST Robotics
FIRST Robotics is the ultimate sport for the mind.
Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Robotics World Championship.