Jose Corpuz ’85 built the Millennium Falcon.
The one at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, that is. The Principal Software Engineer at Walt Disney World, he was the lead engineer for the Millenium Falcon. “Yes, I built the Millenium Falcon,” Corpuz said. “And yes, she is still a hunk of junk.”
Now, 30 years later, this Lab alumnus serves as a mentor to his alma mater’s Robotics team.
Molony credits mentors, like Corpuz, for the club's quick successes. Fuller coordinates with professionals within the Chicago community and beyond to come to Robotics and help the students learn the mechanics, engineering, electrical, business planning, fundraising, and more to make the club successful. At Lab, Middle School students have access to LEGO® Robotics, before moving on to the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition in high school.
Both Erling and Molony are—aptly—studying mechanical engineering, and credit Robotics for giving them a jump start on their career paths. Molony received a merit scholarship from Johns Hopkins because of his involvement in Robotics.
“The value placed on learning by doing at Lab is a big part of Robotics,” said Erling. “We weren’t worried if we would succeed or fail. Here at Marquette University, I’m realizing how much Lab fostered a love of learning for me.”
The infectious nature of Robotics is palpable during practice or through a brief conversation with the club's members and faculty advisors. For many students, this is where they found their community at Lab. And, their mentors.
“Mr. Fuller is the single best thing to happen to robotics at Lab,” said Molony. “The time it takes to manage this team is huge. The kind of person it takes is wild. He spends so much time and energy doing robotics.”